One of your resolution at the start of the year may have been to actually make yourself a personal budget and stick to it. It’s not as easy as it seems, though. Personal budgets sound good in practice and may even seem very easy to start out but they can get blown very easy as unforeseen circumstances pop up and you find yourself in need of funds you don’t have. We’ve got some ways you can help yourself.
If you are experiencing overwhelming debt, personal bankruptcy may be an option.
Not knowing where and why your money is being spent can create an unfavorable financial situation quickly so a transparent budget is critical.
Knowing the exact figures of how much money you have, how much you make, what your bills cost you each month, and what you want saved away for emergencies is the first step into gaining some financial control.
Part of benefiting from a budget includes some daily practices, some monthly ones, and some things you can implement on an annual scale to make sure you have money and what it should be used for.
Below are some of the best practices you can implement to make a personal budget and stick to it.
Know What You Have
The first thing you need to do is figure out how much money you have across all accounts. Look at your savings, checking, any funds you have in credit unions, and other places. Know how much tangible money you have that you can touch and how much is in accounts that have restrictions on them. Then learn how much you make and take home from each paycheck every billing cycle.
Determine Monthly Expenses
In order to set up a useful monthly budget, you need to know what you absolutely have to spend money on each month. This is obviously bills, rent, loan payments, car payments, and other expenses. It also includes grocery costs, gas, or transit costs. This is where your money needs to go every month and you need to prepare for it.
All your money can’t go to bills and monthly costs, you need to pay yourself too and, ideally, you’ll do that first based on the bottom line you create for yourself. By pay yourself, we mean put money in savings, in investments, and into any other accounts you use for saving money or retirement funds.
How Much Time Should I Devote to This?
It may take you a bit of time when you start out as you gather all the information and do the math the first time. After you get a baseline, it should only take you about an hour or so each week to update your budget and tracking.
How Do I Adjust?
Life happens. You may suddenly have car troubles, or your rent may increase, or the price of gas fluctuates. Be prepared for this by giving yourself room to adjust as needed for fluctuations in costs and what you’re able to afford.
Have a personal budget and stick to it! Starting is the hardest part, and when it’s started it’ll be easier to keep on track. If you find yourself falling off track, speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney about your debt relief options.
If you live in the state of Massachusetts, Hines Law is a full-service bankruptcy firm that can help. With over 15 years’ experience and knowledge, the bankruptcy lawyers at Hines Law will guide you every step of the way no matter what specific issues you may be facing. Our bankruptcy firm specializes in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings and we are committed to safeguard your interests and future by providing the right solution for your debt relief. Call us today for a Free Case Evaluation!