Budget your way to success
Budgeting sounds like a boring strategy used by our parents. For a long time, budgeting was considered the way to manage money because it helped people keep track of where their finances were going. But lots of people are choosing not to budget because it seems so needlessly complicated with little or not benefit. But there is a benefit to budgeting; the real trick is finding a budgeting method that works for you. Here is an excellent strategy to help you manage the money in your personal portfolio.
The first thing you need to do is create a budget. Creating a budget does not have to be restrictive, but it should be a guideline to help you manage your income and your expenses each month. The first thing you want to do is list all your expenses on a month-to-month basis. The next thing you want to do it list all of your income on a month-to-month basis. Then compare. Many people who have trouble saving find that their expenses are very close to their income. So what can you do?
One option you have is to reduce your expenses. This might mean going out with friends a little less or giving up on some luxury that you typically enjoy. Another option you have is to increase your income. Unfortunately, for many people, this is easier said than done.
One way that you can reduce your expenses and increase your income is by using a debt consolidation loan. By consolidating many outstanding debts that are due throughout the month into a single loan with a single monthly payment you will be accomplishing several things.
First, you will be reducing your monthly payment because you will be securing a larger loan and is spread out over a longer period of time. Second, you'll be reducing the amount of interest you pay because you will be consolidating your many debts into one debt from one provider. Reducing your interest not only helps to reduce your expenses but also increases your income!
And if you are able to find some assets that can help you get a secured loan, you'll be able to spread out your payment over a longer period of time and you will likely qualify for a lower interest rate because you have some security to offer the lending institution to back up the loan.
Now that you are actively pursuing a budget, you will need to find a way to continue to reduce your expenses over time. A secured loan will help you do that. But don't forget that there are many ways you can also increase your income.
Congratulations! You are assembling a budget and getting control of your finances and at the same time you are reducing your expenses and increasing your income.
Budget For The Future
Have you sat down and really thought about your financial future? I know people are busy these days and you think "well I'm young now and I'll have time to do it later." You're dead wrong. You are NEVER too young to start saving for retirement!
They say if a 25 year old puts in $2.00 a day into a savings account ($60.00 a month), buy the time he reaches 65 he'll have a million dollars. However, what is a million dollars these days - really? It's practically chump change with rising housing and cost of living expenses.
So you have to make a budget to save for the future. Don't expect Social Security to kick in, they're having problems already - much less when you get to be that age!
Here are some strategies to help you save for the future and your retirement:
1. Make a list of your monthly income. Include everything from your wages to gambling winnings, child support receive, alimony, and any other income you get every month.
2. Then make a list of your expenses. List everything you spend from your utilities to your cell phone bill. Also your child's violin lessons, pet expenses - everything.
3. Subtract your expenses from your income. Hopefully you are coming out ahead! If not, then you need to make smart decisions on which expenses are a necessity or a luxury. Do you really need a cell phone, or is it just convenient? Discipline yourself now and you'll thank yourself later!
4. Do this for several months. And then at the end of each month, figure out where your money went that was unnecessary. Did you go out to eat more than once a week? Did you buy your lunch instead of making a sandwich from home?
5. Put 10% of your income into a savings plan. This is the "rule of thumb" amongst investors on just how much you should be saving a month. If you make $3000/mo. then you should be saving $300. Pay yourself first!
6. Consider other options besides savings. Perhaps invest in a 401k or an IRA savings plan. Check with your banker to see which one would suit your needs and financial situation the best.
Really that's all there is to it! Never take money out of your savings for frivilous purchases like a new pair of shoes or to go to a movie. That is for your future! However if your car needs a new transmission, this nest egg is there for you!
It just takes a lot of self-discipline and the desire to want to have financial independence. Just apply these easy techniques and you'll be on your way!