Is one of you 2023 goals to stop living pay check to pay check (or even racking up debt)? We break down exactly how you can get started, and even explain the best budgeting methods and tools to get you there! Here we go. Calculate Your Monthly Earnings Examine your pay stubs to see how much money you and anyone else in your family make each month. Include any side hustles or other forms of passive income. If your income fluctuates, make an educated guess or take the average of the previous three months' earnings.
Compile a List of Your Expenses Here’s a sample of what you may include in the list:
Payment of rent or mortgage.
Utilities (electric, gas, and water bills).
Payment for a car and/or transportation fees.
Insurance (car, life, health).
Repayments on credit cards, student loans and other debts.
Non-Essentials. Entertainment, subscription and streaming services, gym memberships, dining out, coffee and various other products are all examples of non-essential expenditures. While curating this list, don’t forget to budget in annual expenses such as car registration, oil changes and other one-time payments!
Try to Manage Your Expenses Within Your Income If you are living above your means then it’s really time to make some serious modifications in order to meet your goals.
Cutting expenses Going out with friends a little too often, splurging on a shopping spree or participating in one too many happy hours (and then instantly regretting it) - who hasn't been there?! But don’t panic. It gives you an opportunity to really evaluate the areas where money can easily be saved. Here are some ways you can save money each month:
Limit eating/drinking out Switch to making coffee at home. Cutting down even just $5 on a daily basis could save you more than $1500 in a year.
Ditch store-bought gifts and switch to home made Special celebrations and holidays occur frequently and can really put a strain on your finances.
Consider canceling your cable or subscription services Cable costs an average of $1,284 per year, so cutting the cord and switching to a streaming service could save you up to $50 each month.
Practice meal planning and fine-tuning your food bill Planning and prepping recipes for the week that utilize many of the same items will save you money. Have a look to see what's on offer and then arrange your meals around it.
Have a Practical Approach to Budgeting and Devise a Method Having a goal vs what you actually do to achieve that goal are two completely different things. Therefore, it is imperative to have a plan that you stick to. This will add structure to your budgeting journey and can also be a great way to reflect back on your journey. And remember - living on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have fun or meet friends. There are actually many budgeting methods that allow all of that! Some of them include:
The 50/20/30 Method: it's designed for people who have greater financial flexibility and can pay all of their bills with half of their income. You allocate 50% of your income to living expenditures, 20% to savings and/or debt reduction, and 30% to discretionary expenditures (vacations, coffee, entertainment).
The Envelope System: For overspenders - this is a cash-based budgeting strategy that works well. It prevents overspending on debit and credit cards by requiring you to withdraw cash and deposit it into pre-labeled envelopes for variable expenses (such as grocery and clothing) rather than using plastic.
The Zero-Based Budget: requires you to account for all of your earnings. You set a budget for your spending and bills, then allocate any leftover funds to your goals. People who are striving to pay off debt as quickly as possible may benefit from this tight system. It's also advantageous for individuals who live paycheck to paycheck.
Budgeting Apps If you don’t want to use tools such as Excel, and you wish to make your budgeting experience a bit more fun, then another money management option is to use a budgeting app. Frich makes budgeting more fun and easier than ever. Aside from organizing and tracking your own spending, you will also be able to compare your spending to others just like you! Read more about all of your features here. By implementing some of these basic principles, you should be all set for your 2023 financial journey. And remember - budgeting is a continuous process, meaning that you will have to revisit your budget each month and adjust accordingly to your goals. Here's to no more missing out & never going broke!