Make sure you know where your hard earned dollars are going! Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston would like to share some helpful tips to creating a successful budget:
Track Your Spending: This may sound archaic but the best way to track your spending, especially your cash, is with a notebook and pen. Track how much you spent on a small coffee on your way to work or how much you spent at the shoe store you strolled by. At the end of the week, enter it into a spreadsheet to keep track easier.
It Takes Time: It is important to monitor your spending for at least a few weeks after you make your budget to catch anything you forgot. You will probably notice a lot of little things add up you wouldn’t have thought of initially.
Create A Balance Sheet: A balance sheet will calculate your net worth by comparing your financial assets (what you own free and clear) against your financial liabilities (what you owe). The difference between these two will be your financial net worth. If your net worth is negative, don’t get discouraged. At least you now know what needs to be done to create more wealth for yourself.
Prioritize: List your expenses and put them in your own order of importance. Compare what you are spending on eating out and what you are putting away towards your retirement. This may open your eyes to the places your hard earned dollar is going and help you stay on budget.
Allow Fun Money: You need to have fun and go out once in a while. Allow a certain amount each month for that. If you don’t you could set yourself up to fail. You work hard for your money; you should reward yourself every once in a while.
Miscellaneous: Unexpected expenses happen, such as a flat tire, trip to the vet, etc. Plan for emergencies by adding that into your budget. Set a certain amount aside and save it only for emergencies. This means you won’t have to put an emergency on your credit card when it happens, avoiding even more debt.
Lastly, make sure you always pay on time by automating your payments. It’s much harder to spend something you never really felt you had or saw.