Learning to Love Budgeting
Most people cringe when they hear the word “budgeting.” But when it boils down to it, budgeting is just a plan for your money. Budgeting means you’ll be spending with purpose before the month begins, and it won’t limit your spending freedom, but give you more. Budgeting is all about being intentional about where your money goes, and will give you a clear plan and picture about where your money is going.
- Budget to zero: This means that before the month even begins, you’re making a plan and giving every dollar a name. It doesn’t mean you have zero dollars in your bank account, just that your income minus all your expenses will equal zero.
- Budget together: If you’re married, you and your spouse should sit down and make sure you’re on the same page about your budget. Remember, since you’re a single unit, it’s not your money or my money, but our money.
- Every month is different: Some months you’ll need to save for school supplies, and others you’ll have to save up for a vacation you’ve been wanting to take. Make sure you’re adjusting your budget accordingly to accommodate for these changes.
- Start with important categories first: Giving and saving should be at the top of your list, along with food, shelter, utilities, basic clothing and transportation. Once those necessities are taken care of, you can fill the rest of the categories in your budget.
- Pay off your debt: If you have debt, paying it off needs to be a top priority. You can use the debt snowball method and Baby Steps to get rid of debt as fast as you can, and stop letting it rob you of your income and budgeting plan.
- Trim things out: If you’re on a tight budget, you can start to cut certain things out, such as your cable or dining out. You can also shop at discount clothing stores, and budget out meals before you go grocery shopping.
- Cut up your credit cards: If you have a credit card, and are really committed to sticking to your budget, you need to ditch the credit cards. Having no credit card debt will mean no more minimum payments you need to make each month.
- Make a schedule: Set specific dates to pay bills, and buy your groceries on a set day every week, or twice a month. When you know what to expect and when to expect it, you take a lot of stress and potential pitfalls out of the picture.
Let Fairmont FCU help! Use online banking and schedule your payments to pay your bills on specific dates and to set-up savings goals. You can also open club accounts for specific items like insurance, auto expenses, education, etc and the best part is the club account is tied to your membership ID/account number making it easy to transfer funds or set-up automatic transfers to each designated club. Stop in any full service office or call 304.363.5320, option 1.
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