I get it—budgeting can be difficult, but it’s the baseline for financial health. Budgeting is the art of telling your money where to go. If your financial picture looks bleak, chances are you haven’t been actively budgeting. Below are a few ways to start stepping in the right direction toward managing your assets.
1. Be Involved
Be a good steward of the resources you have. Doing so is a way of caring for the people you love. For example, I love the foster care community. But if I spend more than I make, how can I effectively serve the foster children in my home? Being involved in your finances helps you care for what matters to you.
2. Keep One Account
Make budgeting simple. You only need one account and one budget for all of your expenses. This allows you to focus on what the money is doing instead of its location. This simple step can relieve stress and allow you to start focusing on the right things.
A helpful tool in simplifying your budget is putting your bills on automatic payment. The purpose of budgeting is to ensure you have the money available to cover your expenses. When creating your budget, you will prioritize what’s most important and the stress will start to go away.
3. Assign Money a Job
It’s payday—what’s next? Tell your money where to go. Dave Ramsey is on to something when he preaches the envelope system! When you are paid, look at your upcoming expenses and assign your dollars. When your necessities—such as bills, groceries, and rent—are covered, you can set the remainder aside for extras. Doing this every time you are paid will save you from losing money due to late fees.
4. Embrace Technology
It can be difficult to assign and track every dollar you make. Fortunately, there are some awesome budgeting tools available. If you haven’t had success using these tools in the past, I would recommend YNAB.com. YNAB stands for “You Need a Budget.” This tool allows you to implement all of the steps above, and works to get you three months ahead on your budget. Imagine getting up in the morning knowing you have money to pay the bills for the next three months! YNAB offers a one-month free trial, and it’s only $50 a year. No, YNAB doesn’t pay me for this, I just really believe in it!
If you know you need help with budgeting, come talk to us! We genuinely want to assist you and get your budget right-side up so you can be at your best—loving and serving those people and things that matter most.
To talk with a Stewardship “Dave Ramsey Certified” Financial Coach, schedule time below.
Jeremy Sharp is the Director of Financial Planning at Stewardship Financial. Jeremy loves helping people figure out ways to organize their financial life and make better decisions with their money. Jeremy and his wife have two boys and is an avid fan of New England sports.