Tips & advice on getting your finances back on track.
Navicore attended Fincon in Washington DC this year where the who’s who of personal finance blogging and podcasts come together. What a great opportunity to ask this knowledgeable group about their best budgeting tips. Here’s what they had to say:
Pete McPherson, Do you even Blog
Every few months, reassess your budget. Start fresh with a new budget, taking into consideration your current needs and spending habits. Do this once a year or once a quarter, justifying each expense for the year/quarter ahead. This zero based budgeting technique requires each expense be weighed for its necessity in your budget, rather than just increasing the cost of a service by 2-5% each year because “you’ve always used it.”
Annie Dickerson, Goodegg Investments
Remember your “Why?” Be mindful of your spending. When deciding on a purchase, know why it’s important for you to stick with your budget. This will help you determine if your spending is a necessary purchase or if you can go without that particular item.
Mike, Five Pillars Realty Group
Track your spending using an app like Personal Capital or Mint. These apps make budgeting easy because your spending and income is tracked automatically.
J.D. Roth, Get Rich Slowly
When you’re looking to cut expenses in your budget, focus on the larger items first. The biggest contributor to your budget is usually housing and transportation. If you can cut expenses in these two areas, they’ll have a bigger impact on reducing your expenses than reducing your grocery bill or switching out your light bulbs.
Carl Henriksen, Fire Ready Aim
Don’t sweat it if your budget is hit with a large unplanned expense like a car repair. Sometimes these expenses will pop up when least expected. Take a breath, adjust your budget and move on. Roll with the punches.
Unexpected large expenses like a car repair are the reason that you should have an emergency fund. Your emergency fund can help you weather the financial storm of an unexpected expense. Just be sure to work towards rebuilding your emergency fund should you dip into it.
Read more: Budgeting For Every Dollar
Chris, Life Outside the Maze
To help get out of debt, each month try to incrementally decrease your budget. Make a game out of it to see if you can reduce your budget a little each month. Making small changes each month will make it feel like you’re not sacrificing your lifestyle. Find places you can trim your expenses and thereby, increase your savings and debt payments.
Shelby Osborne, Five Pillars Realty Group
Go through your credit card and bank statements to find all of your automatic subscriptions. Cancel everything that you’re not actively using or can live without. You’ll be surprised by the amount that you can save each month when you do this. Remember that some automatic renewals are annual, so look at the last twelve months of statements to catch them all.
Read more: How To Budget When You’re Broke
Yulande Cummings, Yulande the Money Coach
Track your spending everyday so you know where your money is going and there are no surprises at the end of the month. This is especially useful if you are new to budgeting and tracking your expenses. You may be surprised to see where you are spending your money. Small daily expenses can add up to a significant sum by the end of the month.
Leslie Batson, Rebel Rock Money Talk
Pay more than the minimum due on your credit card payment each month. Any ‘extra’ money you can find in your budget can be applied to this debt which may have an interest rate as high as 29%. Paying the minimum on your credit card is a sure way to be paying that card off for many years. Strive to reduce the debt to zero on your cards and then pay the balance in full each month, so you are never charged interest.
If you think you need help creating a budget, call one of our certified credit counselors. We can help you establish a budget and get your debts under control. You can call us at 1-800-992-4557 or learn more here.
Lori Stratford is the Digital Media Manager at Navicore Solutions. She promotes the reach of Navicore’s financial education to the public through social media and blog content.