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3 Tips for Budgeting Effectively

Budgeting is different for all of us. For some of us, we are looking for ways to whittle down debt in a more manageable way. Others are searching for ways to save to reach their goals. Some just want to be aware of their spending habits. Regardless of the reasons, budgeting can be beneficial to everyone, but sticking to a budget can be the hardest part.

Oftentimes we get overwhelmed and stop tracking before we gather enough information to help ourselves. Remember that you and your reasons are important and that breaking it down and personalizing it can be helpful in following through. Here is an example of what a monthly budget can look like.

A monthly budget breaks the budget down to a more manageable time frame. On our Monthly Budget Worksheet, you will find a “Budget Amount” column where you will place your projected income and what you want to spend and save for that month.

Tip #1

Make realistic budget amounts. Setting restrictions that will be difficult to achieve can lead to frustration and quitting. Take small steps and decide a few things you can change and take bigger steps later if needed.

In the second column you will find “Actual Amount”. This is where you will track your actual accrued spending. Once actual amounts are recorded you can use the “Differences” column to see where you need to evaluate.

Tip #2

Track your spending. A great way to track your spending is by actively using your Online Banking or mobile app, the Money Management Tool, and having personalized sub-accounts.

There is also a “Notes” section on this worksheet. This is a place to put your thoughts, or the differences that you see between your budget amount and actual amount. Put encouraging words in this location instead of negative ones. For example, if you noticed that you overspent on groceries you can put “If I buy only what I need I will waste less food and I can do better on spending at the grocery store!” or ” Eat a snack before going to the grocery store to prevent purchases that aren’t budget smart. I can do this!”

Tip #3

Keep your completed budget worksheet in a place that you can see it every day. That way you feel encouraged to continue your budget and can affirm why you are doing this. If it helps, you can put pictures of your goals around as an extra visual reminder to why budgeting it important to you.

Once you have completed a month, repeat this process monthly until you reach your goal. See where you can spend less and find out where you want to spend or place your money to reach those goals that we all deserve to achieve. One step at a time, you got this!

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