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Finance

Making a Budget For Beginners

Budgeting is a topic that can either make you excited or cringe. Which reaction is yours? Making a budget doesn’t have to be a complicated process, but you do have to be consistent with it. You’d be surprised how much stress you could reduce in your life if you took charge of your finances. If you’re looking for an accountant who can help you achieve your financial goals, Idaho Falls accountants are available to help you.

Find your why

With any goal that you set for yourself, it is essential that you find your “why”. Make note of why you want to make this change in your life. This will be helpful when you are struggling to work on your goal and help remind you why you want to achieve this goal. 

Find your budget method

There are a few different methods that you can choose from to help you budget your money. 

  • Envelope system
  • 50/20/30 method
  • 60/20/20 method
  • Zero based budget

Envelope system

There is power in using cash to purchase items, especially for entertainment. It has been proven to be much easier to swipe a plastic card rather than pay for things in cash. This can also help you to avoid spending money on unnecessary items. 

You can get creative with it, but the idea is to have a few different envelopes to put cash into. You can label them into different categories such as debt, savings, expenses, etc. Each time you receive money, you divide it up into each of the different envelopes. Some banks allow you to create digital envelopes where you use the same method explained above, only digitally.

50/20/30 method

The idea for this method is to pay for your living expenses with 50% of your income. 20% of your income will go towards savings and/or reducing debt and 30% towards personal spending such as going on vacation or entertainment.

60/20/20 method

Similarly is the 60/20/20 method where you pay 60% of your income towards your living expenses. Then you will put 20% of your income towards savings and/or reducing debt and the remaining 20% towards personal spending.

Zero based budget

This concept is to help you keep track of all of your income. You first budget towards normal living expenses like bills and groceries and then divide up your money towards your goals. This is a fantastic way to eliminate debt or if you’re living from paycheck to paycheck.

Tracking expenses

With modern technology, it has made it much easier to track your expenses digitally, if you prefer. You still have the option to track your expenses on paper too. The most important thing is to find what works best for you and that you will be consistent with it. 

As you begin to track your expenses, you can see if you’re spending more than your income. It is really easy to spend too much money if you’re not careful. Some simple ways to start getting rid of expenses are stopping subscriptions that you don’t need or use. Truebill is a great app to help you keep track of that! Focusing on eating out less and eating more home cooked meals can have several benefits to both your physical and financial health.

Accountability

All of the tips that were discussed can be very helpful to making positive changes to your finances. With any new goal, remember that it takes time and patience. It will be difficult not to give up. Make a plan of how you’re going to keep yourself accountable, whether that be keeping yourself accountable or having someone else help you.

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