A budget is an important part of staying on track financially and meeting your goals. Whether you are looking to overhaul your budge and start fresh, or this is your first time making a budget, the following steps can help make one unique to you. Each step is a cornerstone to good financial planning that you can build your financial future on. When you start following a budget, you will see a difference in your finances.
I believe that you should start a budget by deciding what your financial goals are so you can see how much you need to save. If you want to buy a $50,000 house in five years with cash, you need to save $10,000 per year. Once you know what you need, you can make a plan for it in your budget. I genuinely believe that this is the foundation that every cornerstone to good financial planning should be set upon.
Where are you now?
How much income are you working with? How much goes out every month? You probably have a good idea of what comes in, and the cost of utilities, but what about everything else? Groceries? Household items? Gas? Your morning latte? Go through your bank statements and receipts to decide what is really going out.
Can you cut back?
Really, really look at what is going out. Can you cut back anywhere? Maybe cut your electric bill down by shortening your showers? Could your latte be a weekly treat instead of daily?
Are you paying on things that can be paid off, such as credit card bills or loans? If so, take a good look at those. Figure out how much you owe and how much interest you are paying. If the interest is high, consider personal loan shopping for personal installment loans or quick cash loans that have lower interest rates and consolidate that debt. If you find this is the best choice for you, compare multiple short term loan lenders for one that suits your needs.
Before you start reaching for the stars, you should grab your umbrella- a rainy day fund. Any time you start making progress, it seems that something goes wrong. If you have some money put away, though, you may not be knocked off of your game at all. And having an emergency fund will prevent you from having to take out emergency cash loans. Having money tucked away is definitely a cornerstone to good financial planning.
Avalanche or snowball?
Rainy day fund? Check! Now let’s work on credit. Think about every single debt you owe, pull out every debt statement you can find, and get it all on. We are not referring to the credit cards and other items you have listed with your ongoing bills. These are the ones that have been put aside until “someday”.
You need them in a workable order, but there are two ways to do it. You have heard of a debt snowball- you start with the smallest bill, continue paying your regular payments on the rest. With each bill you pay off, you add that payment amount to the next debt’s payment. Your snowball gains momentum until everything is paid. This works, of course, but you can also do a debt avalanche. With this, you list the bills from highest to lowest.
Warning: As humans, we need rewards. We need to see progress. So the only time I would suggest the avalanche is if you have the money to pay off that first bill now. If you are coming into an inheritance or get a large tax refund check, this is plausible. It may also be more feasible to shop personal loans if your current interest rates are high and pay off as many debts as you can. The way you pay it off is up to you, but do start working on it. Cleaning your credit up is a great step toward stability.
Grow some wealth and consider the future.
Investing is a huge cornerstone to good financial planning. We all want to retire someday, right? The earlier you begin investing, the better off you will be when it is time, but do get some savings and better credit before sinking all of your money into investments.
Also, you should consider life insurance- yet another cornerstone to good financial planning. You can usually find it at very affordable prices, and it can take a load off to know your loved ones will not have to come out-of-pocket.
You now have the structure of a financial plan- the bones, so to speak. Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to put those bones together in a way that makes sense with your income, your life, and the sacrifices you are willing to make to meet your goals. If you get off track, give yourself a break- the most important thing is to keep trying. If you must take out a loan, let Loanry help you get personal loan online. They can connect you with a lender that meets your needs.