Becoming More Financially Responsible in 2020
It’s no secret that budgeting takes hard work and persistence. If you face your finances with determination and stick to these pointers, budgeting can open doors to more financial freedom.
Understand your Finances
It’s difficult to become more financially responsible if you don’t understand the ins and outs of your current spending habits. Figure out your budget by adding up your normal monthly bills, rent, utilities, insurance, and any other set expenses. NerdWallet is a great resource for tips on creating a budget. Take time to reflect on how much you have got coming in, and where your money is going out, each month.
Save Before You Spend
Make saving a top priority. When money is tight this might seem backwards, but it’s the first step in taking control of your money. Whenever you get a paycheck, focus on putting a small portion in savings. A typical savings account works for some people but it might not work for everyone. Consider taking advantage of pre-taxed options and employer matches by contributing to your 401k at work or making your own investments. Either of these are a great way to save.
Have Honest Conversations About Needs vs. Wants
We all need food, water, shelter, and clothing to survive, so create a realistic budget that includes these necessities. However, just because food is necessary, does not mean you should eat out every night of the week. Typically, items that are necessities do not need an explanation or a justification. Keep that in mind when deciding whether the convenience of “Door Dash” is really worth the price vs. cooking at home.
Keep Trying Until It Sticks
Sticking to a budget isn’t a walk in the park and can be daunting when you aren’t used to it. It takes hard work and discipline, so don’t get discouraged if sticking to your budget is challenging at first. The best advice is just keep trying. Quitting too soon and reverting to old ways of spending is one of the most common causes of budgeting failure. If your budget never seems to stick, there’s a good chance your budget doesn’t accurately reflect your lifestyle and it might be time to reevaluate.
Understanding your finances, saving a portion of your paycheck, being honest about your spending habits, and consciously sticking to your budget are just some of the ways that you’ll see positive financial results this year.