Create a Spending Plan
It’s the new year which means some of us have made resolutions to take charge of our financial planning. The first step when taking control of your finances is to create a spending plan. A spending plan will help you stay organized and build slack. Here are some tips to get started:
- There are tools that can really help like our free-to-use spending plan worksheet.
- Financial health tools that are free to use and built into mobile and online banking if you prefer a more interactive experience such as spending analysis, financial health snapshot, spending forecast and more.
- Focus on the big areas first: food, utilities and shelter. Add any other expenses that you consider critical, including your mobile phone.
- Don’t judge yourself when you’re considering what to cut. While some people might consider Netflix to be a luxury if it helps you better deal with stress consider including it in your plan.
- Look for areas where you may already be spending less right now, such as transportation, movies or clothes. You could repurpose that for necessities or an emergency savings fund instead.
- Look at what areas you could trim or cut. Start with the easier expenses to cut first then work through the harder sacrifices by making trade-offs until you get to a spending level you can live with.
- Leave room for emergencies. Don’t use every dollar you have available in the spending plan if you can help it. If possible, put some money aside in an emergency fund each month to help you handle unexpected expenses.
How to Map Out Your Spending Habits | Credit Human
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Where do I start with my finances? | Credit Human
Awareness of your expenses allows you to set realistic saving and spending goals. Things change, so continue to monitor as you go. The goal is to become more aware of where your money goes so you can adjust as necessary. Planning is the key to being financially healthy and we can help you get started. Make an appointment at your neighborhood Financial Health Center.