Budget for Success
Reaching your financial goals takes planning, and the first step down that road is creating a budget. A budget will help you outline your monthly or yearly expenses to make sure you’re not overspending and help you see areas where you may be able to cut back in order to meet your specific savings needs.
Living within your means requires that you have a clear understanding of your income and how much you’re spending. If your spending exceeds the amount of money you take in, it’s time to scale back where you can. It may not be a fun process if you’re a shopaholic or enjoy fancy restaurants and entertainment, but by keeping track of where your money goes each month you’ll be able to identify the areas where it’s easiest to scale back.
If you make monthly loan payments for school, a home or a vehicle, be sure and include the specific interest rates for each loan in your budget and, if possible, plan on paying more than the minimum monthly payment. By paying down those loans with the highest interest rates first, you’ll save money in interest in the long term.
When you’re dividing up your income to set specific spending goals, be sure and set aside some for savings. Whether you’re working toward a comfortable retirement or saving for a down payment on your next vehicle or home, set a timeline for reaching your goal and set aside money each month in order to reach it. The better you plan and stick to your budget, the less tempted you’ll be to dip into savings for other expenses.
For additional tips and resources for developing and keeping track of your budget, check out our worksheets page, the EECU blog or explore the FinanceWorks™ program in your online banking.