Many credit unions offer help with budgeting and financial planning. Contact your credit union today!
Your budget should be a realistic snapshot of what your monthly income and expenses are. It might be best to dig out at least three months’ worth of bills so you can get a true average of variable expenses like utilities, phone and credit cards. Figure out the averages and use those numbers in your your own budget.
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Even though this may seem like a lot of work, it’ll be worth it in the end. When you’re done, you’ll be able to better plan for your goals and even those unexpected expenses.
So, is your final number a negative or positive one? If it’s positive—congratulations! You’re living within your means and should be able to start saving for your goals. Need to figure those goals out? Go to our Defining Goals section to nail them down. Once you have your goals in place, check out Save to discover the best place to put your extra money.
If you ended up with a negative number at the bottom of your budget, it’s time to do some serious thinking. Where can you cut back on your expenses? Maybe you don’t really need those lattes or gym membership. Another way to save is to shop around for the cheapest insurance, cable, Internet and phone plans.
Is your budget down to the bare bones? Then you might want to think about increasing your income if possible. Maybe a part-time or freelance job can help get those bills paid.