Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
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October 13, 2022

Five Budgeting Tips to Make Managing Your Finances Easier

If you’re like most people, you don’t particularly enjoy managing your monthly budget. Maybe you’ve even given up budgeting altogether because it was too tedious. We hear you, and we’ve got five budgeting tips to help you rekindle the savings flame.

1. Choose a budgeting method that fits your life.

“The best exercise is the one you’ll do.” The same concept applies here. If you’ve burnt out on budgeting in the past, think about why and adjust your budgeting method going forward. Was the budget too restrictive? Did you use a system that didn’t work for you? Did you use a digital spreadsheet when you’d prefer a notebook, or vice versa? Budgeting isn’t one-size-fits-all, and we’re all different people.

Start by thinking about your life, financial goals and expectations for your budget. Do you want to know where every dollar is going? Or do you want to set a savings percentage goal and let your other dollars do what they want? The answer will shape what budgeting method you choose, how detailed your spending tracking needs to be and how much time budget management will take you. (If you’re brand new to creating a monthly budget, learn how to get started in three simple steps.)

2. Hack the power of habit.

The task of regular financial oversight can feel like a burden, but like many things you do, it’s something that can be built into your routine to make it a habit. Once the habit is formed, you’ll be more likely to consider the task of budgeting the same way you think about grocery shopping. It’s just something you do. Start small with a goal to review your finances one day a week for just 20 minutes. Take that time to look over receipts and check your account activity. You’ll develop a better awareness of your spending and overall financial picture, and over time, financial oversight will become a habit.

3. Review and revisit your budget regularly.

They say the only constant in life is change. This applies to our financial picture too. Your rent, your job, your family size — these are just a few of the many variables that impact your budget. Take some time to reflect on how your budget is doing every few months and make adjustments to spending and saving categories as needed.

Need a little help tracking your spending? Try the Budgets tool in Grow online and mobile banking!* Create personalized budgets and monitor where your money goes. Check it out!

4. Don’t forget the long game.

It can be difficult to think a few years into the future, let alone decades. But when it comes to saving for retirement, time is your biggest asset. Understanding the value of compound interest will help you see the bigger picture because planning for retirement means playing the long game. By putting away even a few percent per paycheck into a 401(k), IRA or another retirement account, you’ll be investing in your future financial security.

5. Decide what sacrifices are worth it.

You’ll hear some budget gurus suggest that you should never purchase a latté or dine at a restaurant again until you’re debt-free. That’s just not going to work for everyone and can create an adversarial relationship with the budgeting mindset. Yes, it’s true that any effective budget will require making some sacrifices, especially if you’re trying to reduce or eliminate debt, but it’s still possible to enjoy your life while effectively managing your finances. Any plan that requires otherwise might be a one-way ticket to budgeting burnout. So, our final budgeting tip is to decide what discretionary spending is worth it to you and account for it in your monthly budget.

When it comes to financial management, everyone starts somewhere. We encourage you to apply these budgeting tips as you review your financial plan this month. Your future self will thank you.

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