If you’re having problems staying on budget, a technique you may want to explore is trying to take it month by month. Starting small with baby steps gives you the benefit of setting a budget that you can stick to adjust as necessary, each month. It also helps to establish a habit, where the beginning of every month is a chance to examine finances and trim the fat so you can build savings, work on your emergency fund, or build a bigger down payment toward that mortgage in Atlanta!
Some good steps to take at the beginning of every month are:
1) Scan the budget – do a quick check to see if there’s anything you haven’t taken advantage of that you can cull from the budget, or make sure that you haven’t taken on a new expenditure that you need to carve money out for. Taking the time to examine can also give you a chance to see if you have strayed off the budget, and if so, how to get yourself back on track.
2) Audit your accounts – it is not just important to check your accounts to make sure that you are on budget, but also good to check to see if additional charges have been added. From adding costs for checking accounts to price hikes on services like cable or internet, this account check is key to combating creep. It is also a great way to see if there has been foul play, from a late charge that you already took care of to examining if your accounts have been compromised and your identity stolen with charges you didn’t make.
For more budgeting tips, including how to save for your mortgage, check the Equifax Finance Blog and their informative Twitter feed @EFXFinanceBlog!