Gain control of your money with a budget.
A budget can help you prioritize your spending, manage your money and save for your future. Knowing how much money you have coming in, how much you have going out and how much you have leftover each month is key to establishing a budget. Here’s how to get started:
This is your take home pay, after any taxes and/or automatic deductions.
Add up your fixed and variable* expenses such as rent, car, utilities and student loan payments.
Subtract your expenses from your spendable income. Do you have a shortage or surplus?
If you’re spending more than you make, you’ll need to increase your income or cut your spending.
If increasing your income isn’t an option, look for expenses that might not be necessary. Dupaco’s free Money Makeover can help you find ways to pay less and save more.
*Fixed expenses cost the same each month, like mortgage or rent payments, car payments, insurance premiums and subscription services. Variable expenses change from one month to the next, depending on how much you use the service. These include utility bills, gas for your vehicle and fees that can be avoided (like late fees, credit card fees and payday lending charges).
Tips for successful budgeting
Here are four tips that will help you succeed at creating and sticking to a budget:
Keep it simple
Don’t make your budget so complicated that you don’t use it. You can download our budgeting worksheet to help you stay organized!
Be honest and accurate
Be realistic about your spending each month. The more accurate you are, the easier it will be to manage your spending.
Find what works
The key is to find a budget that works for you.
The easier it is for you to follow, the more successful you’ll be.
Track your budget
Track your spending from one month to the next. If you notice you’re spending more or less in some categories, adjust your budget so it continues to be a helpful tool.
Get thrifty and start saving!
Anyone can be a successful saver. Even if you don’t have a lot of time or money to spare, there are ways to introduce saving and thrift into your everyday life. Below are some ways that you can grow your savings through thrift.
Resources to help you save
- Savings Interest
Estimate how much money you’ll have in your savings account in the future.
- Save toward a goal
Determine what you’ll need to save each month to reach your next big purchase.
- Savings Budget
Find out how much you can put away based on your monthly income and spending.
- Certificate/CD Calculator
See what a term-share certificate/CD investment could be worth.