Setting Your Budget: Understanding the Process
One of the first things to be aware of is that your budget need not be set in stone. After a few months, if you’re finding you are having trouble meeting your financial goals, you should reevaluate your budget to see what can be changed. To get started, you need to do a few practical things:
Once you do this, make sure you create a “slush fund” for those unexpected daily expenses like workday lunch with coworkers. This will help you stay on track with your savings goals. Keep these numbers realistic. For example, if you’re spending $200 a month in lunches you buy at work, you can reduce this amount by electing to carry your meals some days. However, chances are it’s unrealistic to eliminate this spending.
Sticking to Your Budget: Easier Said Than Done
Make sure you keep track of your actual spending immediately after creating your budget. Only by doing this can you ensure you are sticking as close to your budget as possible. Consider using a budgeting application on your cell phone. These applications will help you identify any areas where you are at risk of over-spending.
Don’t beat yourself up if you exceed your spending limits unless it is causing you undue financial hardship. However, if you consistently find you are spending more than you have budgeted in any category, make sure you reevaluate your budget and make changes.
Budgets are important financial management tools and can help you reach your savings goals. Whether you’re saving for a college education, building a nest egg or adding to your retirement savings, contact your Member Financial Representative at Oklahoma Central Credit Union for further assistance or information.