Tips for Budgeting Through the New Year

According to a YouGov poll, one of the top 3 most common New Year’s resolutions for 2018 was saving money. If that’s on your list for 2019, these tips can help you budget better to meet that goal throughout the coming year.

Set Goals and Create a Budget

If you haven’t already, be sure that all of your financial goals are written down so that you can spend and save more purposefully. Creating a plan will allow you to determine whether you’ll have enough money to do the things you need and want to do. It will also help you save and stay out of debt.

If you aren’t sure where to start, the first thing you’ll need to do is write down all your income and then determine much you spend by tracking all your expenses – you may need to take a week or more, saving receipts and keeping track of everything daily. Using your past bank and credit card statements can help too. When you have the necessary data, organize it by categories, such as mortgage or rent, groceries, gas, dining out, etc. and total up each amount.

Know How to Use Unexpected Income

Whenever you get any unexpected income such as a gift, bonus or perhaps money from a lawsuit received after hiring one of the best medical malpractice lawyers, follow this important rule: aim to use a third to pay down your debt, a third for the future, putting it into a savings account, and the third for the present to make purchase you want. Not only will your savings grow and your debt shrink, but you won’t feel deprived.

Use Cash, Not the Card

It can be easy to overspend when using your debit card. Instead of whipping it out every time you want to make a purchase, figure out how much cash you need every week for spending money on things like your daily cup of coffee and snacks. When you’re limited to the amount of cash you spend, you’ll have to think more about what’s really important and what’s not.

Aim to Save 10 to 15 Percent of Your Income

Saving can be challenging, but if you have goals that you want to save for it helps make it easier by providing motivation. Once you know what you want, try to save 10 to 15 percent of your income. If your expenses don’t allow for that much, look for ways to cut back. For example, bring your lunch to work instead of dining out, cut cable channels you don’t use or cable service altogether and use cheaper options like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Make Savings Automatic

Just about every bank offers automated transfers between checking and savings account. Set up a transfer, taking a portion of every paycheck so that it automatically goes into your savings account. As you won’t even have to think about it, it will reduce the temptation to use the money on something else.

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