Everyone loves the buzzword budgeting. You hear people on social media and in person saying they need to start on or that they finally mastered the fine art of budgeting and are willing to show you how as well. The thing is, every family’s financial picture is different. Some only have to worry about paying off student loans while others are trying to pay off a mortgage and credit cards. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, it’s possible to create a financial plan that suits your needs.
Create a Goal Sheet
Knowing what you want to achieve financially starts with your goals. While following money saving tips should always be a priority, you also need to think long term. If you’re using high-interest credit cards, how to do plan to pay those off quickly? If you want to go from renting to owning a home, what steps do you need to take to make that happen? Creating a goal sheet will help you stay focused on what you feel is most important.
In addition to lowering your monthly credit usage, you should consider refinancing your student loans. Even when you the minimum amount on pay on time, you might not be touching the principal. You may even be paying extra only see a slight decrease in your total amount due. When you refinance, you can usually lower your monthly payment, pay less interest over time, and possibly be able to roll multiple loans into one monthly payment.
Lower Your Tax Burden
If you’re tax bill seems higher than it should be, you might be filing your taxes incorrectly. Make sure you’re writing off everything you can, claiming the right deductions and also using the correct filing status. If you have children, make sure you’re maximizing the childcare and dependent deductions.
Start an Emergency Fund
It’s been said time and time again, however, it definitely bears repeating to start an emergency fund as soon as possible. It’s not uncommon for couples not to save for a rainy day, especially when they’re trying to pay off their debt. Unfortunately, not having even a small emergency fund can have rippling effects. Even if it’s only $500 to $1000 dollars, you need money you can in case your car breaks down or you get sick and need medical care.
Shop with a List
The next time you have to go shopping, don’t just throw everything you see into the cart. Another way to put it would be not to add anything you think you need. Before going to the store, take some time to create a shopping list. It’ll help you remain organized and make sure you don’t spend more than you have to.
If you’re hoping to take a trip with your family, you want to try and save as much money as you can. It’s not always the most affordable activity. You have to factor in things, like the method of transportation, the cost of hotels and whatever you plan on doing for leisure. Make sure to look for deals on traveling websites. You might be able get more bang for your buck.