A new month starts tomorrow, do you have your August budget numbers figured out? The months are flying by so fast it’s hard to keep up. For those on unemployment PLEASE remember your next checks from the State of Texas will be less as the Federal Unemployment has stopped as of July 31st. Adjustments most definately need to be taken into consideration. Will you need to start evaluating where cuts or reductions can be done? Message or call me when you’re trying to figure this out.
As for saving month, most financial experts recommend you save at least 10% of your take-home income (after taxes have been deducted). The most important part of saving is developing the habit. Base your saving on your long term personal goals and what is realistic for you.
Short Term and Long Term Goals
Where do you see your life being different six months from now? In a year? In five years? Even twenty years. For your top goal – write it down, give it a date and dollar amount. How much would you need to set aside each month to reach that goal? Is that amount possible for you? If not, what could you change? Making changes to reach that goal may not be as drastic as you think when you break it down in bite size steps.
Establish a realistic spending plan
As a coach this is where I can step in to help and get to wear my sparkly nerd cap! We gather up all of your records related to income and expenses for one month. After subtracting your expenses from your income the next question is, how much is left over? Does that feel right? Could you make changes to your earning and spending habits to set more money aside? Or do we need to find areas we can reduce the cost on. Check into price comparisons on services perhaps.
Consider the overall financial picture
If there is a significant amount of debt, you may be having trouble making ends meet. Are you in the middle of a financial crisis? Steps to resolving those situations should take precedence over saving for future goals, for the moment. Once your financial situation is stabilized, start saving for an emergency fund to provide a safety net if your car breaks down or you lose your job. With a fully funded emergency fund you have peace without panic.
Start saving small
If you are not in the habit of saving or money is tight, commit to a small amount that you will be able to set aside on a monthly basis to start growing your savings over time. If it’s only $25, that is perfect, start there. There are a variety of savings products available with different rates and features. Of course you want to get the best rate possible and there may be other features important to you. I recommend to have your savings easily available but not so easy it’s used as a backup to the checking account when your favorite department store has a sale. 🙂
Save irregular and extra income
The fastest and easiest way to save is by the unexpected windfalls (bonuses, tax returns, stimulus check, etc). Plan to set most of those funds aside to boost your savings. It will add up quickly.