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Feeling like your money is slipping through your fingers? You're not alone. But don't worry, taking control of your finances is within reach! Here are 10 budgeting tips to get you started:

  1. Know Your Why: Before you dive into spreadsheets, set some goals. What do you want your budget to achieve? Is it saving for a dream vacation, a down payment on a house, or simply gaining peace of mind? Knowing your "why" will keep you motivated.

  2. Track Your Income and Expenses: Awareness is key! Gather your bank statements and receipts to see where your money is actually going. There are many budgeting apps and spreadsheets available to help you with this. If you need suggestions, let us know. We have done extensive research on this now that Mint is not available.

  3. Separate Fixed from Variable: Fixed expenses like rent and car payments stay consistent. While variable spending, like groceries and entertainment, can fluctuate. Knowing the difference helps you plan for both. If you need to cut the budget, you can also break it down further to necessary vs. discretionary. The discretionary will be the category you can adjust to find extra money for savings, if needed. 

  4. Embrace Budgeting Techniques: There's no one-size-fits-all approach. Explore options like the 50/30/20 rule (50% needs, 30% wants, 20% savings) or zero-based budgeting (allocating every dollar of income). I’ve taught the Dave Ramsey class, and he uses this technique. Find what works for you and your family.

  5. Automate Savings: When available, set up automatic transfers to your savings account. This "pay yourself first" approach ensures you reach your goals without even thinking about it. One less thing to remember to do for the month.

  6. Tackle Debt: High-interest debt can derail your budget. Focus on paying down those balances with a debt repayment plan. Debt is a thief and can mess up any chance for savings. Take it seriously and aim to be debt free. 

  7. Be a Savvy Spender: Identify areas to cut back. Can you have a brown-bag lunch or find cheaper entertainment options? Every little bit adds up!

  8. Build Your Emergency Fund: Life throws curveballs. Aim to save 3-6 months' worth of living expenses to handle unexpected costs without blowing your budget. If your monthly income fluctuates, aim for 6 months of savings. Also, if you have a lot of turnover in your industry save for 6 months. You can keep this in a Flourish savings account (ask us about it if interested) and it can earn 5% for you without any fees or withdrawal penalties. 

  9. Review and Refine: Your budget is a living document, not set in stone. Revisit it regularly, adjust as needed, and celebrate your wins! If you have partner, include them and do this as a team. It is important that everyone participates and feels informed about their finances. Reach those goals together!

  10. Make it Fun! Budgeting shouldn't feel like a chore. Reward yourself for reaching milestones and focus on the positive impact on your financial future.

By following these tips, you can take control of your finances and build a brighter financial future! No situation is too far gone to get back on track and reach those life goals you dream about. If you need help, reach out and lets get together to do more planning that you need. 

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