Financial Tip #1: Keep a budget

I’ve decided that I’m going to start bucketing some of the advice into different categories. I’ve got a lot of insight from my own life and from things I’ve discovered on the internet that I really want to share with others. This section will cover some pieces of financial advice that could be helpful for you!

    Financial Tip #1: Make a Budget.

Alright so this one isn’t really rocket science and it’s kind of simplistic and a bit of common sense. However! You would be surprised how many people don’t plan out a budget and thus get behind on bills and let debt creep up on them. The biggest thing that you can do for yourself is map out a budget whether it be electronically through a spreadsheet or a budgeting program, or in paper. Take a look at all your expenses that come in bills, utilities, loans, food.

Typical monthly expenses: Cell phone bills, electricity, rent, water, trash, car payments, loan payments, credit card payments, pet related expenses

Once you have the monthly expenses down, think about how much you usually use for food, entertainment, clothes, whatever they may be and allocate the rest of the money you have appropriately between these items. Also, it’s a good idea to set aside a portion of your income towards a savings account. You can do this by having your bank set up an automatic deposit whenever you get a paycheck. In this way, you can set aside some savings and not touch (or at least try not to).

By at least setting up a budget, you will quickly see how you’ve been tracking and see just how much you spend on things. The first time I sat down and did a budget, it really made me realize just how much I spend on eating out and extra stuff that I don’t need. Since then, I’ve been able to always reference the budget each month and make sure I’m on track with paying the bills on time, etc.

The next few tips, I’ll share more tips around savings that I found to be extremely useful.

-The Lermz

The Lermz

Michael Lerma graduated the University of Notre Dame in 2009 with an Information Technology Management degree. He is currently a senior Project Manager with the Nielsen Company.

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