Your Homegrown Bank
Budgeting for Your Future
A budget is an organized list of your sources of income and the money you spend on essentials like housing and food, fun things like dinner and a movie, and what you need to save for the future. Just as using a map to make sure you reach your destination, budgeting is a tool that helps you realize your financial goals. It can help you navigate those moments when you experience financial difficulties. You can take charge of your finances by setting financial goals, planning a budget, and sticking to it.
Saving is important for many reasons, including for unexpected expenses such as car repairs, medical emergencies, and possible unemployment, and for planned needs such as a vacation, college tuition, or retirement. A budget can also help you reduce your debt.
Collecting as much information as you can about your spending will allow you to prepare and plan. Keep monthly records of your spending so you’ll spot places where you can save money. Know how much you can reasonably spend — and be realistic about it. Being disciplined to save a smaller amount of money on a regular basis is generally better than saving more money sporadically. Finally, rewarding yourself by spending a reasonable portion of money you have saved with the help of a budget is a good incentive to stick with your budget.
Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:
• What is your current income?
• What are your monthly credit obligations?
• What are your monthly rent or mortgage expenses?
• What are your monthly credit and mortgage expenses?
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