Jun 29

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Final Budget Thoughts

So now that you have completed steps 1 & 2 and have a budget in place for yourself or family, here are some final items to take into consideration.

  • Big changes will not happen over night. Instead of deciding to take your grocery budget from $500 to $250 in one month, work yourself down in $25 or $50 increments. You’ll find yourself feeling a lot less failure if you take a gentler approach.
  • Keeping in mind that big changes don’t happen over night, if you’re spending more than you earn, it may be time to slash some categories altogether like fancy cable packages or  gadgets. Reasonably consider downgrading or eliminating.
  • Re-visit your budget often. Take a look at categories you are over-spending or under-spending in and decide what changes you need to make to get inline with your goals.
  • Communicate! If you are married, you must both be working towards the goals and working together to have the most success with your new budget. Even if one of you is responsible for paying the bills and balancing the checkbook, you should both be aware of your spending plan. If you’re single, consider asking a trusted family member or friend to take a look at your budget and bounce ideas off of them. Success is more likely when you’re accountable and sharing ideas with someone.
  • Savings should be included as an expenditure!! Think about setting up an automatic transfer once a month from your checking to savings account, as well as making goals to regularly deposit into your account.
  • Remember there are lots of tools to help you – technology can be your friend! Take advantage of your banks online banking, services such as mint.com and spreadsheets available for free download. Also keep in mind there are many great apps for smart phones that also allow you to access your accounts via your phone so they are available for your review at any time! If you’re not comfortable with using online technology for your finances, that’s fine too. Consider printing out a spreadsheet if you don’t want it on your computer.

Good luck on all your savings!

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