How to Evaluate Your Monthly Budget |

How to Evaluate Your Monthly Budget

 The Importance of Having a Budget

          Having a budget is important for financial stability. You need a budget so that you can live within your means and it will prevent you from taking out unnecessary loans that can put you into deep financial debt.

Having Monthly Budget Evaluations

          It’s important you keep a close watch on your budget. Are you staying within the budget or are you slowly going above budget? What are those expenses that are slowly getting a bigger slice of your budget? Is it something you can control or is it due to inflation? These are some of the questions you have to ask yourself each time you evaluate your budget.

          If you are married, it’s important you do this with your spouse. That way, you can discuss it and make adjustments in your spending. Maybe you or your spouse is spending so much on shopping that it’s making a big dent on your budget.

Areas of Budget Evaluation

          So what are the areas in your budget you should look at? Rent or mortgage is usually a big part of a household budget. This one is hard to reduce and it’s usually fixed. But if there’s a way to refinance your mortgage at a lower interest rates, then go your local banks and start looking at this option.

          Food is a necessity in every budget. But many times, we don’t use our common sense in buying groceries. Here are five powerful tips to reduce your spending on food:

(1) Do not go buy groceries when you are hungry.

(2) Use coupons, buy in bulk (stock up) and on discount days.

(3) Invest in healthy food. You will get healthy and spend less in medical care as a result.

(4) Eat more at home rather than eating out.

(5) Limit grocery visits with children as they can be very persuasive in getting candies and other junk food into your cart.

          Transportation can also be a big part of your budget. Gas prices are high and parking fees can be so absurd. Try to use public transportation as much as possible. Use your car only for strategic trips and when it’s only necessary.

          Reducing your utilities can be a great way to maintain the leanness of your budget. Stop wasting electricity and water and you can accumulate huge savings on an annual basis. Use energy conserving light bulbs and avoid appliances that consume too much energy. Invest in appliances that can save energy costs for you. 

          Entertainment can be a big portion of your budget if you love movies and music. Avoid buying popcorn and drinks when watching a movie. It can be as expensive as the ticket price itself. Before watching a movie, you should have lunch or dinner first so that you are full. You can also tap DVD rental stores online or the one nearest to your home.

          For music, you can simply buy individual songs online rather than buy the entire album. The odds are is that you only like particular songs. So be picky and don’t splurge so much.

          For books, you can also go digital by buying ebooks. Get a cheap ebook reader like a kindle or a tablet pc. Ebooks are way cheaper than hardcopy books plus you save money by needing less physical bookcases or storage boxes for your books.

          If you have kids and they are already in school, tuition can be a big portion of your budget. Homeschooling is gaining ground as a viable alternative to traditional education. So, you can explore that option to reduce your expenditure on tuition as it is skyrocketing. If you still want them to attend private school, choose a school near your home so that you can reduce transport costs and you won’t have to spend for their board and lodging like if they were living on campus.

Practicality and Consistency

          In these challenging times we live in, it’s important we remain practical. Money will always play a big role in the quality of your life and it’s important you become frugal and live within your means. Find additional income sources, save and invest that money so that you have savings to live on in case your budget gets hits suddenly by unexpected expenses.

          Having a financial plan involves having a financial budget. The key to success is to be consistent in your priorities and spending. Living a frugal life is one of the keys to financial freedom.

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