Robby's Budgeting Tips!
From time to time we like to share some of our staff's suggestions on the best ways to manage your budget. Today we hear from Robby Dunn, Vice President of Counseling here at CCCS of Buffalo!
Robby’s Five Financial Budgeting Tips
- Create a balanced budget - This may seem like very simple personal financial advice, but the road to recovery from debt or the accumulation of savings begins with a balanced budget. This means that you have more money coming in than that is going out every month. Track your income and expenses for 30 days and find out if your budget is balanced!
- Consider viewing savings as an expense – Is savings an expense? Many individuals may argue that it is not as it is not necessary to save at all times, or every month. But, if you are saving, what are you putting those funds aside for? Home and Auto repairs? Vacation and gifts? Medical expenses? Those all sound like future expenses to us, and important ones at that! Perhaps if you view savings as an expense and make it a necessary item in your budget every month, your savings account may grow faster and you will be better prepared for what the future brings.
- Prioritize your “wants” - Make a list of all the monthly expenses in your budget that are wants and order them from top priority to the lowest. This can be a clear and concise way to determine what really is most important to you in your life, and what can be the first items to cut back on, or eliminate all together, in an effort to have an improved budget.
- “Meal prep” and pack your lunch – Meal prep has become a fancy new term often used by many athletes, body builders, and fitness competitors, but anyone can do it. Not only does it often lead towards healthier food choices, it is much more cost efficient. If you work Monday through Friday, use Sunday evening as a time to “meal prep” and make up to five lunches for the week in advance. Choose food items that will stay fresh and last the whole week like rice, pasta, beans, baked potatoes or sweet potatoes. Consider making a large batch of soup or chili that will last the week. Cooking in larger quantity always saves money and this will make it easy to pack lunches and avoid going out to lunch to spend up to $10 with relative ease!
- Remain optimistic! – Although at times it can be very difficult and stressful managing our personal finances, try and remain positive and optimistic. Life will throw many things at us, and in our financial lives many problems can arise. Think long term and big picture in order to weather the storm and get back on track.