Eating a balanced diet. Getting enough sleep. Exercising and moving your body. When it comes to our physical well-being, most people know what they need to do. It’s the details that get tricky.
Financial wellness is no different. In most cases, people know what they should do – saving, paying down debt, and more. That’s why Regions is taking the month of April – which is also Financial Literacy Month – to remind people about the importance of getting back to the financial basics.
And there’s no better place to start than the beginning: setting up a budget. Here are some simple steps you can take to start creating a budget.
Three Steps to Creating a Budget
Step 1 – Expenses
Start with the baseline. To have a budget, you need to understand how much you’re spending. Collect what you spend for payments, utilities, meals and mochas. Everything in one place.
- Fixed Expenses – Place everything you pay a fixed cost for monthly into one pile, like house payments, car payments or subscriptions.
- Variable Expenses – Put expenses that vary into another, like utilities and gas.
Step 2 – Income
Look at what you bring in – from wages to other income.
Step 3 –What remains?
When you’re creating a budget, what remains when you subtract expenses from your income isn’t your discretionary funds. It’s simply where you start doing the real planning. That discretionary money is what fuels savings and lets you handle smaller IFs in Life and enjoy the money you earn.
Three Tips Supercharge your savings
Want to get more control over your budget and make more progress toward your financial goals? Here are three simple tips that will help supercharge your savings!
Pay yourself first. Set up an automatic transfer from your checking to your savings that goes every month. And little by little, that money will grow. You’ll find that you have more money ready to help when you need it.
Trimming a budget is easier when you know how much you spend and where. So, it’s important that you understand everywhere your money is going. Check your statements and online accounts, because you might find things you don’t want or need any longer that you’re still paying for or places you can more easily trim – like subscriptions or eating out.
Have a goal. It’s always easier to work toward something, when, well, you’re working toward something. Saving for the sake of saving sounds like a great idea, but we often make decisions, even financial decisions and plans, not based on reason, but on feeling. Having a goal that you really would like or that would make you feel more secure might be the motivation you need!
Visit Regions Next Step online at www.regions.com/nextstepfamilybudget for more advice and guidance on managing budgets, setting savings goals and more. It’s free and available to associates and customers.