The new year is right around the corner. Is it your resolution for 2023 to get a grip on your budget? When you create an efficient household budget, it’s easier to keep track of and manage your money. You could be shocked seeing where your money is actually going!
While it may seem like an undertaking to track and adjust your spending, you’ll thank yourself in the long run.
All it takes is a bit of planning and – with the help of our free online money management tools – review and adjusting your budget will be a breeze.
Why Is It Important to Have a Household Budget?
A budget provides you with more control over what you are spending your hard-earned money on and shows you the areas you can make cuts, if necessary. Here’s why:
It Helps Keep You on Track
Too many individuals spend more money than they actually have, and it is usually because of credit cards. In fact, according to WalletHub, each household's average credit card debt was at $8,006 in Q3 2021.
You may not realize you’re spending as much as you actually are. If you create a budget and stick with it, you will know exactly:
- Your earned monthly income
- The amount you can afford to spend each month
- The amount you will need to save to reach your goals
If you don’t have a budget, you could be aimlessly throwing money away. A solid budget can help you map out your goals, build savings and help you keep track of what you need to adjust next to achieve your financial dreams.
Where to Begin
To get started:
- Determine your after-tax take-home pay.
- List all expenses, writing down the exact amount you spend on each item.
- Determine the amount to spend in each budget category.
- Track your spending each month. Our money management tools in mobile and online banking make it simple!
- At the end of the month, review your money coming in and going out. If your spending’s off track, you can then make adjustments.
Next, you will want to figure out if your spending is reasonable in each category. To do this, you can take a look at the national average. For instance, if the national average for dining out and food is about 10% of your income and you are spending 20%, you will know to cut back in this area.
- Track your spending each month. Once you have set your budget up, go over your spending during the month. If your spending goes off track, make the necessary adjustments.
When Creating Your Budget Consider
- Your spending habits. First, figure out your spending habits. You may already have an idea of what you are spending each month but doing the math will give you the precise amount of money you have going out.
- The non-essentials. Once you have determined where you are overspending, cut back on your non-essential expenses or find less expensive alternatives. For example, plan to cook more meals at home instead of eating out. Or review your subscription services to see where you could save a few extra bucks each month.
- Reviewing and adjusting your budgeting methods. At the end of every month, take a look at your budget. Is there someplace you are consistently over-spending? Consider whether you need to re-allocate from another category or if you need to adjust your spending habits.
- Taking advantage of online tools. If writing everything down seems tedious, there are online programs available to help you create household budget templates and organize your finances.
A budget provides you with more control over what you are spending your hard-earned money on and shows you the areas you can make cuts if necessary. But, your first step is to create one if you have not already.