Financial Tool Kit: Lesson 1, Build a Better Budget

Woman sitting at kitchen table holding coffee cup in hand and looking at paperwork with laptop and plant resting on surface next to her

Inflation has hit a 40-year high of 9.1% in June 2022, diminishing the real value of your paychecks and increasing the price of everything from gas to groceries. According to Lending Club, nearly 60% of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck. Inflation is affecting the American pocketbook, leading people to consider whether budgeting would be a helpful option.   

Budgeting, however, is not easy. Sometimes you want to give up before you even start. This may be why not many people have a spending plan.  In fact,  over 56% of people don’t budget at all.    

I get it.  Even as a financial coach I do not “geek out” on budgets. So, here’s a radical recommendation: throw out the budget sheet. If it’s causing stress and anxiety, let the idea of a budget sheet go. Instead, try tracking. 

As a Great Basin member, you have access to our Money Management App which you can use to track your spending. Your Great Basin accounts will automatically transfer into the Money Management app and, if you choose, you can add any other outside accounts you might have. The more information, the more complete financial picture. 

Although transactions are automatically sorted into categories, it is a good idea to go through the last two to three months of data to be sure you’ve got the information in the correct categories. 

Doing this will give you a good idea of what you are spending and where. You’ll get an idea of what you’d like to trim or where you’d like to cut back. After tracking for a month or two, you can move into the Budget section to firm up some of those numbers.   

Tracking makes cash flow planning a lot easier and less stressful.  Look out for a short video that explains this feature in a bit more depth as well as more tips from me throughout the month.  And, of course, if you want more hands-on help, give me a call – I’m happy to help.

Got Financial Questions? Miu

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