September 12, 2016
Don't let a financial setback throw you into a debt spiral. There are many tried and true ways of how to save and budget your money that can get you through a rough patch.
The most obvious yet often missed method is to spend less than you make. There are common misunderstandings about the goal of budgeting. It isn't only about tracking every penny, though that can help. The idea is to figure out exactly what's coming in and making sure your budget effectively helps you spend less than that amount.
Here are five budgeting tips to get you back on track:
The trick here is accounting for everything. How much it costs to fill your gas tank and how often you have to do it. Tolls and utility fees. The $6 latte on your way to work in the morning. Everything. Then see where you can trim. (Hint: It's the latte! Switch to regular coffee. It's less than half the price and a fraction of the calories to boot.)
If all you're paying on credit cards or student loans is the minimum each month, then likely all you're paying is the interest. What that means is you're putting little toward paying off the principal and getting nowhere in terms of your debt. For some people, seeing results helps the most. According to budgeting expert Dave Ramsey, paying off the smallest debt first helps build momentum or a "debt snowball."
Take a good look at what comes up during certain months. For example, you can probably predict a spike in spending during the holidays. Save for that. Or maybe there's an annual trip you take to the beach in the summer. Factor that in and adjust spending during leaner months.
This is among U.S. News & World Report's top 10 ways to improve your budget. Do you often find yourself buying plane tickets or gifts at the last minute without the time to shop around and find the best deal? Or pay a lot of late fees for bills? These are expenses that can be easily avoided.
It may not be as bad as you think. Hiding your head in the sand will only make it worse, so face it head-on and fix what you can as soon as you can. Set aside money in an emergency fund in the event an unexpected expense comes up. Dave Ramsey expresses that the peace of mind you gain is a great return on your money.
A few simple steps can quickly move you closer to your financial goals. Don't be too discouraged by sudden expenses. Things will happen, but if you stay disciplined you can navigate budgetary challenges. Take control of your budget today for a successful tomorrow. A Credit One Bank® credit card is a great way to start tracking your money and stay on budget.
Budgeting often gets a bad rap. But a budget is a valuable tool that can help you stop overspending, save more, and hopefully achieve your financial goals faster. So why do 1 in 3 Americans admit to not having a budget even though more than 90 percent believe everyone should have one?
Between baby gear and diapers, those baby expenses can add up quickly. Are you prepared for the real cost of raising a child? Most Americans underestimate the average costs of having a baby. A 2017 survey found that only 11% of expecting parents have a realistic idea of how much to budget for that first year. How much does it cost to have a kid? According to the USDA’s assessment, from birth through to age 17, you can expect to pay $233,610 to raise one child. The first year can cost as much as $21,248. While these may be shocking numbers for some, there is good news. There is a lot you can do to reduce the cost of a baby. The more you do to develop healthy budgeting habits now, the more you’ll be able to save in the first year and beyond. Which means—more money to save for college!
When muscles are tight, you have to work on making them more flexible. When money is tight, flexibility once again plays a key role in helping you find ways to free up funds or earn more income. Especially given that habitual behavior and rigid thinking may have played a role in helping to create your current financial picture.