Summer break can bring added expenses such as camps, vacations, and home improvements. If we are not careful, we can find ourselves impulsively spending and straining our credit cards. You can avoid this by having a plan. Budgeting is a great way to ensure your wants are aligned with your finances.
Some simple steps to follow:
- Create a list of all your monthly expenses.
- Using your bank and/or credit card statements, create a list of your actual spending habits. Every dollar should be accounted for.
- Identify how much you spend in a month and then subtract the amount from your monthly net income.
- If your expenses are more than your income:
- Identify what expenses are a want vs. a need.
- Then eliminate or reduce spending on the wants.
- If you have a surplus after your financial obligations are met, then you can plan additional activities around that amount.
A financial check-up monthly or quarterly allows you to be honest about your spending habits and encourages the power of saying NO to your wants when having to make financial decisions.
Use this budgeting tool to look at what you make and spend each month.