Think Beyond the Big Box...

Never Too Late to Budget

 

Whether you are a junior in high school, a stay-at-home mom, or a 64 year old looking forward to retirement, the importance of budgeting is pivotal at every stage in your life. It’s best to be prepared for the unexpected bill, the unforeseen need, or the preparation for an expense down the road. Budgeting helps you to be better prepared and see where your money is ending up. By looking at the past, you can better predict where your money will be going and ways to save. Below are ways to save and grow wealth in more detail.

 

Earn extra cash in your spare time:

Be it a part time job, a freelancing position, or teaching music lessons, earning extra income can help pave the way for less worry and strife when it comes to money, bills, and payments. Find something that you enjoy doing, and see if there is any money that can be made in that line of work. You could start a gardening class, host a guitar group, or teach scrapbooking lessons.

 

Take a deep look at your housing:

Are you renting or have you been living in the same home for decades? No matter what your situation may be, knowing what you can and should spend on housing will help the rest of your budget to fall into place. Dave Ramsey, a New York Times best seller and radio host for money management, encourages living within your means by allocating roughly 25% of take home pay towards housing costs. Are there any additional ways to cut costs that you might be missing? Rent out a spare room you no longer use, or meet with a financial advisor for additional information and assistance. Visit http://firstapartmentguide.com/rent-calculator to see the amount you should be spending on rent, or visit http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/mortgages/new-house-calculator.aspx to determine the best mortgage payment amount for you.

 

Keep track of needs vs. wants:

Netflix, Hulu Plus, weekly massages? Depending on your situation, take a look at what you can afford, where you can skim the expenses, and what you absolutely need to continue your desired way of living. Chances are there are areas where more money can be saved than others. Call your cable company to discuss a different, cheaper option. Plan meals weekly and shop accordingly for only the food that you need- a list truly does work best. Set aside a specific amount for fun, entertainment, and spontaneous adventure. You are budgeting, but fun should still remain a part of your life. A popular money management site, GetRichSlowly.org, offers great advice for how to distinguish between wants versus needs at http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2008/10/27/the-balanced-money-formula/.

 

Through budgeting, you can get closer to the life that you truly want. Budgeting allows you to look at what you need and what is important. It helps you to see where your money has gone in the past and decide where you would like it to go in the future. Budgeting makes it so your money truly works for you, not the other way around.

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