No matter what your financial goals may be, one of the first steps to achieving financial success is creating a monthly budget.
Whether you are focused on saving for retirement or having enough money in your bank account for dinner tonight, there are a variety of budgeting processes and systems to choose from. Raccoon Valley Bank wants to help you get started with a budgeting process that works for you.
Here are some general rules of thumb to consider when starting a budget to achieve your financial goals:
Create an Emergency Fund: This is one of the first steps in most budget creation guides. The purpose of an emergency fund is to keep you from relying on credit cards or dipping into your retirement account in case emergencies.
Figure Out Where Your Money is Currently Going: From car payments and utility payments to eating out and ATM fees, figure out how much you are spending monthly. At this point, narrow down exactly how much you need for the basics (i.e. food, shelter, transportation) each month.
Tackle Debt: Once you know exactly how much you need in order to live monthly, start addressing student loans, car payments, credit card payments and all other forms of debt. Using your “left overs” to pay off bills is hard for many folks, because if you spend more on debt, you must spend less elsewhere. However, if you can do the hard part now, the sooner you can get to the fun part (reaching your goals)!
Track and Save: Continue to always track your finances, whether you are new to the budget system or have been doing it for years. Always know where your money is going before you spend it. Once you feel more comfortable tracking your finances with a basic monthly budget, feel free to begin tailoring your budget to meet those unique financial goals that you have.
Starting a monthly budget can be a difficult process. However, if you can stick with it, a budget can help you achieve your financial goals. For more information on budgeting or savings account options, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!
Raccoon Valley Bank, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender