As we say goodbye to 2017 and prepare for all things 2018, it’s time for a new budget!
That means creating a budget you can follow through with and be proud of this time next year in review.
Here are some helpful tips to assist you in your financial goals for 2018.
Assess Monthly and Yearly Expenses
To prepare a budget, first you must determine how much money you earn and reassess. Consider creating a spreadsheet of monthly/yearly expenses you can’t avoid to begin. Add on with other expenses you have on the regular that are removable is also necessary.
Expenses like rent or insurances are unavoidable, but that $4 coffee you buy each morning may have to be taken into consideration!
If budgeting were easy, everybody would do it and stick to it. But sometimes spending more means doing less. Instead of going out for dinner at a fancy restaurant, prepare a nice home cooked meal. Invest in an espresso machine and make coffee at home instead of buying a new cup of Joe each morning.
It’s always fun to go out, however if it is a nice day outside, why not spend the day at the beach or park? These activities cost no money and are great places to relax in your free time.
If you love going to the cinemas as much as I do, consider going on Tuesdays or Sundays. Most cinemas usually offer discounted tickets on these days, plus they tend to be the least busy days (best seats)!
Keep Track of Your Money
It can be easy to lose track of how much money you are actually spending, and it can become a real issue. Keeping a log book of your purchases on the daily/weekly can help keep you on track for your financial goals.
Reassess each week what you did well and what could’ve been better when taking your purchases into account, and improve on them in the following week.
If you set yourself a weekly lunch budget of $70 but only spent $50, that’s great! Consider lowering your budget for the next week and see if you can maintain it moving forward. Bonus points if you bring home made meals from home!
Focus on Your Goals
A list of goals is essential for creating a budget, especially if it’s a long term one. Consider why you have decided to create this budget, and determine what you are truly saving for. This can be saving for a retirement fund to saving money for essentials like an emergency fund or large purchases (vehicle, house etc.)
Be realistic with your goals as well, as you may lose motivation to maintain your budget if it is a considerable amount of time it will take to save up that much money. Focusing on things you can control, like food, transportation and entertainment are good spending targets to keep you focused while you whittle down the money needed for your main goals.
For free budgeting templates, click here