Spring Has Sprung! Let’s Get Your Budget Done!
With the coming of Spring, “Springtime” indicates movement into a season that brings with it a sense of renewal, regrowth, and signs of new life with trees and flowers starting to bloom. Many folks begin “spring cleaning”, for others spring breaking happens, while some are settling in for a little March Madness. Whether mopping, beaching, or breaking a basketball bracket, taking some time to budget a plan and plan your budget is always a smart financial tactic.
1: a plan for the coordination of resources and expenditures. The accountant needs to develop a budget for her company.
2: the amount of money that is available for, required for, or assigned to a particular purpose. What is the average weekly budget for a family of six?
Or a Verb –
1: to allocate funds for in a budget. How much manpower do we budget for a new hospital? Budget the time wisely.
2: to put oneself on a budget. Better start budgeting now for a vacation!
Whether planning for college, saving for your first mortgage, or stashing money away for the ultimate vacation, maintaining a reasonable budget is the first step to achieving some level of financial freedom. A budget can also be difficult and challenging to accomplish. Save, save, save! Easier said than done sometimes, but breaking it down to a few simple steps will help with stress-free budgeting.
Tracking every dime spent is challenging, even for the pro budgeting types, and is really not the goal of a well rounded budget. That being said, tracking every dime spent for a short period of time is enlightening and can show you how spending even small amounts of money over a period of time adds up! Ten dollars here, 20 dollars there over 52 weeks a year totals $1,560 dollars a year. Multiply that by 5 years and voila! $7,800 dollars in the vacation fund! Tracking expenses for as little as a week can provide incredible insight to essential spending habits necessary for a long-term savings strategy.
2.) WHAT’S THE GOAL FOR BUDGETING?
Counting dollars is an important step, but is not really the goal of budgeting. Budgeting is about spending and one can know where their money is going without saving it. Understanding the end result helps make way for an effective budget that allows for spending less and focusing more and saving the “extra” created by counting the dollars. If the goal and spending don’t align, then something needs to change.
3.) PLASTIC IS FANTASTIC!
Charge it! Yes, that is right… permission to charge on the card is an efficient way to track spending. With every credit card statement comes a list of purchases and if monitored, is an excellent way to see how much is spent where, when, and how.
4.) THREE’S THE CHARM.
Budgeting not really being about spending helps here, since most people do not need to track every dime. As an example, knowing how much you are spending every week on gasoline to get to work may be relevant, but if it doesn’t change your driving habits, then it’s not worth tracking. The majority of “extra” expenditures typically fall into eating out, entertainment, and clothes shopping. By picking three categories to monitor and keep under close control, the three’s a charm approach can have a significant affect on your pocketbook.
GOAL – The object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
Remember, the goal of budgeting is to spend less money and allocating resources to an intended target!
By Susan Amsler
March 5, 2017
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