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6 Tips to Become a Budgeting Pro - A Smart Man's Guide

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05 Jul 2022

You’re probably already familiar with the term “budget”, but if you’re not, it’s basically a list of all the money you plan to spend during a certain period of time. It’s a tool that helps you control your money, so that you can make the most of it.  That’s why it’s so important to be a good budgeter. With the right plan in place, you can eliminate the urge to spend money on unnecessary things. Instead, you can focus on the things that will have the biggest impact on your financial goals. And yes, being a good budgeter isn’t just about tracking your spending. There are many things you can do to become a better budgeter. Here are six tips that will help you become a better budgeter and finally get out of debt.

Step 1: Set up your accounts

The first step is to set up your accounts. Find an account that will work for you and make sure it offers a budgeting tool.  This will help you keep track of all the money you spend, so that you can see where your money goes. It’s also important to make sure this tool is easy to use and doesn’t require any extra steps or effort on your part.

Step 2: Define your goals

The second step to becoming a better budgeter is defining your goals. What do you want to achieve with your money? And how much money are you willing to spend to get what you want? It’s important to create specific, realistic goals that don’t involve giving up all your favorite things. You might want a new car but the reality is you can’t afford it.  Instead of setting a goal that would make you unhappy, set smaller, more reachable goals. For example, if you want a new car and live close enough to work, you could set a goal of saving $1,000 per month for one year so that when the time comes, you’ll have the funds to purchase your new vehicle. By setting specific and attainable goals, you are more likely to achieve them. Plus they will help keep your finances on track in the long run.

Step 3: Estimate monthly expenses

The first thing you should do is figure out your monthly expenses. This includes all of the bills you need to pay, but it also means figuring out how much money you spend on things like groceries, eating out, and other necessities. To be able to estimate these expenses, one easy way is to use the 50/30/20 rule. This rule states that no more than 50 percent of your income should go towards necessities or fixed costs (like rent) and no more than 30 percent should go to lifestyle choices (like eating out). The final 20 percent should go towards savings goals such as retirement or debt repayment.

Step 4: Queue the good stuff

We all have bad habits, and we’re not proud of them. But if you want to be a good budgeter, you’ve got to do better than just cutting back on your expenses or buying things on sale. You need to cut out the little expenses that are adding up and hurting your bank account. One way to do this is by queuing the good stuff—or buying the things you need in bulk when they go on sale. The idea behind this is that by purchasing items in bulk for a discounted price, you can save money without sacrificing quality. When it comes to necessities, such as toiletries, laundry detergent and cleaning supplies, buy in bulk whenever possible. But don’t forget about non-necessities like toiletries, air fresheners and dry goods that can sometimes be found at discount stores like Costco or Trader Joe's!

Step 5: Set up automatic payments

One of the best things you can do to become a better budgeter is set up automatic payments so that all your bills are paid on time. This will help you avoid paying late fees, interest charges and overdraft fees. Plus, by putting your finances on autopilot, it becomes much easier to maintain control over your money. The only thing you’ll have to worry about is monitoring your bank account balance to make sure your money is being allocated as planned. Once you set up automatic payments, you can go about the rest of your day feeling confident that everything else is taken care of.

Step 6: Have fun

Finally, if you want to be a good budgeter, make sure you enjoy it! It’s too much work to be miserable while you’re trying to get your finances in order. You’ll find that the better you enjoy budgeting, the more motivated and dedicated you will be. If you spend the time to create a personal budget that suits your needs, you can use this as an opportunity to learn about yourself. This will help you see where your money is going and what habits need to change.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You have just completed the six-week Smart Man’s Guide to becoming a budgeting pro. Now you can take comfort in the knowledge that you are managing your personal finances with care. Keep in mind, though, that your budget is an adaptive document. As your lifestyle changes, so too should your budget. The best way to get a sense of how your budget evolves over time is to start tracking your monthly expenses for the next six months. Then you can compare your spending behavior and adjust as necessary. Good luck with your future budget, and enjoy the journey!

05 Jul 2022
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