Creating a budget can seem like a difficult task, but it doesn't have to be. It's as simple as following these 4 steps below.
- Figure out your monthly income – be sure to include all members of your family who contribute to paying bills. Your income should include your paychecks, child support and any other money that you bring in. You can simply write this down on a piece of paper, or use an excel spreadsheet.
- Create a list of all your monthly bills/expenses. Don’t forget even the smallest of items. Here’s a list to get you started:
- Power Bill
- Cable/Internet (Also any subscriptions you may have instead of cable, ie. Netflix or Hulu)
- Insurance (Renters, Auto, Home, Life, etc.)
- Telephone/Mobile Phones
- Any other Loans you may have (Auto, Personal, Home Equity, etc.)
- Monthly Credit Card Payments
- Savings (Always pay yourself first!)
- Now, create a list of annual expenses that may come up throughout the year. For example, your car registration, birthday’s, Christmas, property taxes, etc. Now, if you divide each of these costs out by 12, you can then add it to your monthly expenses. This allows you to spread the costs out over the year, which makes it more affordable.
- Now that you have all your monthly and annual bills written out, add them up and subtract the total from your monthly income. (This is where an excel spread sheet – or calculator may be helpful!)
This will give you a good sense of if you are living within your means. If you’re in the negative, that’s okay. It’s a work in progress. Review where you may be able to cut costs. For example, with groceries, maybe you can try to buy more store brand items, or for more ideas take a look at, “How to Eat Healthy on a Budget.”
Too many credit card/loan payments? Consider talking to us about a Debt Consolidation loan.
When was the last time you got your insurance quoted? Contact Atlantic Federal Credit Union Insurance for a free, no obligation quote. Make sure you aren’t paying more than what you should be.
Maybe you can cut your cable costs – review your options for subscription services, such as a Roku, Netflix or even Hulu.
Those are just a few examples of how you may be able to cut your costs.
To make budgeting even easier, there are now many apps and websites out there to help you. Here are a few that you may like.
- Atlantic Federal Credit Union Mobile app – Track your spending in real time and always know how much money is in your account.
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