How to maintain your budget month after month
It's a six letter word, many of us run from. Budget.
"Don't make it a daunting task," said Brandon Poore, a sales manager at Education Loan Finance, a branch of SouthEast Bank. He said budgeting doesn't have to be intimidating.
"The more fun you make it, the more you're going to want to be involved in it," he said keeping it fresh is the best way to stay motivated. "Budgets should change monthly. Think about January, right? You've got taxes coming in so, your budget may look different," said Poore. "Sit down at the beginning of each month and decide what are these expenses going to look like?"
He suggests using a spread sheet or writing it all out. "You'll want to look at your major expenses first. Housing, utilities, food. Those things that you have to have paid. Then you start breaking out, what do I pay on my other expenses each month? Then pay yourself first. After you've paid for your necessities- put 20 percent into savings."
The easiest places to make cuts may be the smaller things that add up.
"Two or three dollars here or there, but you add those up and that's 150 dollars you've spent on those miscellaneous items and activities that maybe you can cut out."
Don't forget about any student loans or credit card debt. "You want to pay off the highest interest rates first. You want to see which loans have the highest rate and try to start paying those down without using the revolving payment."
Poore says to cut up the credit cards if you're tempted to use them.
Finding the right tools and having open communication with your partner are also ways you can be successful at managing a budget.