How many times do we set a financial goal with the full intention to achieve it only to stop within a month? This time, we’re ending just as strong as we start. And our secret weapon is going to be a budget plan! We promise it’s not as stressful as it sounds, especially with Maple Federal Credit Union on your side.
By creating a budget, you will be able to see where your money is going, where you will be able to save money, and how to have a clear mind when it comes to your finances. Today, we’ll explain two popular budgeting methods for you to consider: the “Zero-Sum Budget” and the “50-30-20 Method.”
One of Dave Ramsey’s philosophies for financial success is the zero-sum budget. Essentially, it is your monthly income minus expenses equals zero. So, if you make $3,000 a month, that $3,000 should be allotted to food, utilities, transportation, housing, insurance, miscellaneous expenses (giving yourself a buffer), debt, etc. This way, every dollar you make is being put to good use—either by spending or saving. Click the following Ramsey website link to see how you can make your zero-sum budget for free.
This source will take you through a series of questions asking your current financial goals, your monthly income, your monthly payments and debts and savings, and will calculate it all for you. It’s free, and it does the math for you—sounds like a win, win!
Another budget plan that could work for your savings plan is the 50-30-20 method. That is, 50% on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% on savings. The “needs” department includes rent, mortgage payments, utilities, food, and transportation. The “wants” area is designated for dining out, vacations, entertainment, new electronics, and fancy coffees. And the “savings” is allotted to exactly what it is named: savings and investments. This can be your regular savings account, an IRA account, or investing in the stock market. Take the time to write down all of your expenses and categorize them within these three departments, and you will thank yourself later.
With either of these budget plans, you will go from wondering where your money went over the month to knowing where, when, and how it was spent. Life should be enjoyed without the looming stress of your financial status. Start the new year off right while also looking out for your future self and start your budget today!
Need an extra set of eyes for your budget? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for advice or financial help!
Hey, the process works for Santa so it can work for us! Start with a list of people you plan to buy for, jot down the gifts you think they’ll love and then check it twice. Santa has to buy gifts for the whole world, but you don’t have to. If your shopping list includes more than five people outside of your immediate family, trim your list. Look at alternatives like homemade gifts or baked goods so you can spread holiday cheer without looking like a Scrooge.
Your best friend started a great job a few years ago and always gets you the most amazing gifts. However, if you’re in a different place in your financial life, don’t overextend yourself to match gifts. Look at your budget and see what you can do. Don’t shop based on what you think you should spend. The saying “it’s the thought that counts” really does ring true. It’s still possible to give thoughtful gifts to your loved ones without breaking the bank.
While there are many options to choose from at one store or another, the best gifts sometimes don’t come from the store. Another way you could save some money on presents this season is by making your loved one(s) a gift. The possibilities are endless on what you can make. Often times, a gift that is handmade from the heart is priceless and more special. If you need some inspiration on what to make, check out Pinterest for a few ideas.
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