By: Ryan Boggus
Have you ever taken a look at your bank account and thought, “Where does it all go?!” If so, you are not alone. Most of us never take the time to create a budget or track our spending habits. This can lead to credit card debt, financial penalties, and, most of all, a feeling of being overwhelmed by your money.
But you can take back control of your finances in the new year and it starts with 2 things- a budget and a plan.
If you have never created a budget before, the idea can seem complex and confusing. But it is simply a process of tracking where you spend your money each month. Start by gathering all your checking and credit card statements from the past few months and then pull up our free budget calculator.
You will start by adding up your income each month (wages, Social Security benefits, pension income, etc.) and total the amount you have to spend. Then you will begin by inputting the essentials- most notably housing, utilities, food & healthcare costs. This is the amount you Must have each month to provide basic needs for you and your family. If you don’t have 3-6 times this amount in savings to cover these essentials, you need a Short-Term Disability Policy from United Benefits.
Next, you will finish tracking any other spending such as transportation, dining out, recreation, etc, and don’t forget taxes and insurance costs. If you’ve never tracked each dollar you spend in a month, the result can truly be eye-opening. If you find yourself in debt or at least stretched for income, where do you see opportunities to save money?
Once the budgeting is complete, it is time to create your personal financial plan. Where are you going to cut spending? How can you lower your debt and increase your savings each month? And what is your plan to meet your retirement goals?
Schedule your free consultation with a United Benefits expert now to get the help you need. We can analyze your current situation, evaluate your needs & goals, and put together a plan specifically for you. Make this the year you take control of your money!