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If you’d rather do the dishes, clean the bathroom or tackle almost any chore other than budgeting your finances, this easy 3-step budget is for you!
If you’d rather do the dishes, clean the bathroom or tackle almost any chore other than budgeting your finances, this easy 3-step budget is for you! (Spoiler alert: It does not involve tracking every. single. thing. you purchase!)
If you consider the main reasons for making and following a budget are to save money and avoid overspending, you can do that fairly easily by taking these 3 steps:
1. Calculate your monthly take-home income. This is how much money you bring home every month after taxes.
2. Determine your recurring expenses. This step will take the longest, but it’s crucial, and unless your recurring expenses change, you won’t have to do it often. Add up all of your regular bills, subscriptions, charitable giving, automatic payments – anything and everything that you pay on a regular basis.
For this budget to work, you need to prioritize saving money by making it a recurring expense. You can use personal online banking to set your funds to transfer from your checking account to your savings account on a regular basis. Just like automatic bill payments, you can set your account to pay yourself before it becomes part of your discretionary funds. (A good goal to work toward is 10 to 20% of your take-home pay.)
3. Subtract your recurring expenses from your take-home income. This is how much money you have to spend on everything else. Gas, groceries, entertainment, birthday gifts – all need to come out of these discretionary funds.
If, for example, you take home $3,000 a month and you have $2,000 worth of recurring bills and expenses, that leaves $1,000 to spend on everything else. Keep that number in mind with each purchase you make, estimating how much you’ve already spent for the month.
Hint: If you share an account with someone else or you’re worried about overspending, you can set up mobile and online banking alerts to let you know whenever a transaction occurs or when your balance drops below a certain amount. Here’s how.
If you don’t yet have mobile or online banking, here’s what you’re missing. Enroll here, or call 800-450-8949 for help.