In an era where almost everything is done online, it’s tempting to leave your money management to technology. And while apps and online banking have certainly made money management easier, they can’t fully take the place of thoughtful and purposeful budgeting, says business consultant Moshe Weisblum.
The best way to manage your finances is by finding a budget that fits your lifestyle. But how do you create a budget?
Money management isn’t as hard as it seems. We’ve gathered our top three best practices for budgeting in 2022. From creating a realistic plan, to studying your spending habits, these tips will help take the guesswork out of financial planning and give you peace of mind no matter what the economy does.
Create a Realistic Plan
The first step to creating a budget is to create a realistic plan, says Moshe Weisblum. This should include your monthly expenses, your savings goals, and any unexpected expenses or income that you might have coming up. Your plan should be built around your income but should also account for emergencies and unforeseen events like an increase in rent or medical bills.
Spend Less Than You Make Advises Moshe Weisblum
One of the most important budgeting tips is to spend less than you make, advises Moshe Weisblum. This seems like a simple idea, but many people fall victim to lifestyle inflation and overspending.
Lifestyle inflation is when your spending habits increase to an unsustainable level. This happens when we suddenly get a raise or we start earning more money due to our hard work. The problem with this is that we aren’t just making more money; we’re also starting to change our lifestyle to accommodate for the increase in income. And this can result in spending the same percentage of your income as before, if not more!
The best way to combat lifestyle inflation is by creating a budget that reflects your current income and savings–not what you hope it will be someday down the road. It’s better to have a more limited budget with realistic expectations than a high-end budget with an unrealistic outlook on your future finances.
Study Your Spending Habits
Budgets aren’t one-size-fits-all, says Moshe Weisblum. You have to find a budgeting style that works for your lifestyle and savings goals. And remember, the best budget isn’t the most detailed or complicated one–it’s the budget you can actually stick to!
One of the best ways to create a budget is by tracking your spending habits. How much money do you spend on food? What about clothes? Housing? Take note of how much you spend on each category for a full month. Multiply that by twelve and you have your annual budget.
This will give you a basic idea of how much money you have coming in, how much you need to live, and how much of it you’re spending extraneously. You may find that some things are costing more than they should, which can help you cut back on needless expenses.
Even though it can feel tedious, taking the time to track your expenses will allow you to plan accordingly for the future. And once you see your trends, it may only take a few minutes once a week or so to stay on track. Understanding where your money goes will help ensure that you’re sending it in the right direction for your financial and savings goals!