2017 is less than a week away. And, it can be the year when you achieve your financial goals. All you need is a good budget. If you don’t have a budget, make one. If you already have one, but it hasn’t been working so well, revise it. To help you, here are 10 tips to help get your budget ready for the new year:
1. Decide your Financial Goals for the New Year
It’s hard to get your budget ready for the new year if you don’t know what you want to achieve. Do you want to pay down debt? Save money? Stop spending more than you earn? Decide on your financial goals and set up your budget to help you achieve them!
2. Analyze Your Current Budget
If you already have a budget, that’s great! Take a look at your budget and see where it’s not working, then make adjustments. For example, maybe you underestimated a certain expense category.
3. Use an Actual Budgeting System
There are many different ways to budget. Some people can just work with a list that shows income vs. expenses. But you’ll likely be more successful if you use an actual budgeting system, whether it’s a paper worksheet, Quicken, You Need a Budget (YNAB), or another similar program/system.
4. Adjust Your Budget to Be More Realistic
When you get your budget ready for the new year, ensure that it’s actually realistic. If you read that someone is able to feed a family of 4 on $50 a week, but you usually spend $150 a week, don’t set up a budget with only $200 a month set aside for food. Be realistic. You can always adjust your budget later.
5. Prepare for Emergency Expenses
Life is full of unexpected moments. Most are easier if you have extra money set aside and ready to use. This year, make sure your budget includes setting money aside in an emergency fund.
6. Prepare for Expenses You Know are Coming Up
Your budget isn’t very good if it ignores big expenses that you know are coming up. If you know the car will need tires, budget for it now. It’ll need to be paid for whether you plan for it or not, so make things easier for yourself and prepare for it early.
7. Leave Some Money for Fun
If you want to make a really good budget, leave a little extra money every month for fun. If you don’t feel deprived of some fun little expenses, you’ll be more likely to stick to your budget overall.
8. Leave Some Money for Charity
Don’t forget to set aside money for charity when you get your budget ready for the new year! You’ll feel bad if you have to say no to your favorite charity because you spent all your extra money on extraneous things for yourself. So save yourself those guilty feelings and budget money for charity right from the start.
9. Put Extra Money Toward Debt
If you’re in debt, this year work on making more than just the minimum payments. Use your budget to find areas to cut costs. Then put that excess money toward your debt to help pay it down faster.
10. Discuss Your Budget with Your Family
It’s no good creating a budget all by yourself if other people are involved with bringing money in and spending it. When you get your budget ready for the new year, make sure to include your family’s input. Make sure everyone is in agreement with how money is going to be allocated in the new year.
Do you have your budget ready for the new year? Let me know in the comments section below.
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