Budgeting is at the foundation of every financial plan. No matter what your income is, or what your financial goals are, creating a budget is crucial. As you think about your goals for 2022, take a look at your budget. Are you on the right path to reach your financial goals? If not, it’s time to rethink your budgeting strategy.
There are many different approaches you can take with budgeting. We’ve listed some popular ones below.
This approach involves splitting your monthly income into three main categories:
If you’re just getting started on your personal finance journey, this method is a great way to ease into budgeting. You’ll end up saving a lot of money for the future if you can stick to it. If you have an overload of bills, this one may be challenging until you can pay down more of your debt.
Zero based budgeting involves assigning every cent you have coming in each month to a specific purpose. The goal is for your income minus your expenses to equal zero. For example, if you make $4,000 a month, everything you give, save or spend should add up to $4,000.
To start, think of everything you spend money on during the month and assign each expense to a category such as food, utilities, and rent. You can repeat these categories every month or switch it up depending on what you need. This will give you a sense of control over what’s happening with your money. If you prefer a hands-on approach to budgeting, this may be a great strategy for you.
For this strategy, you divide up portions of your paycheck and put the cash into separate envelopes. Each envelope is labeled with a category based on your expenses such as: utilities, food and extras. When you need money for a specific category, you’ll take the money from the appropriate envelope. When an envelope is out of money, it’s gone until your next paycheck. This can help you stay on track with spending limits you set for yourself and from overspending.
Pay Yourself First Budget
This budgeting strategy is built around your savings goals. By paying yourself first, you’re setting aside some cash for yourself, whether it’s in a savings account or retirement account. This should be the first thing you do when you get your paycheck each month. Once you’ve done this, you can spend the rest of your cash however you want. As long as you’re meeting the financial goals you’ve set for yourself, there are no rules. This often takes place automatically by putting money in a 401(k), IRA, or other retirement plans.
There isn’t a single budget strategy that works for everyone, so find what works best for you! If you’re not sure which strategy to choose, give us a call! We’re always here to help.