Everyone benefits from budgeting. Creating a monthly budget helps to prevent you from spending more money than you have. It helps you identify and change poor spending habits. And it allows you to reach your financial goals, such as paying off debt or saving for the future, even faster. How should a beginner budget? Here are five budget tips for beginners to keep in mind.
5 Budgeting Tips
- You can start budgeting at any time.
Young children, teens or adults who are just beginning can learn smart financial habits that stick for a lifetime. Older adults can discover new ways to extend their paychecks and pay off debt. As a budget beginner, kick things off with financial goal-setting to see where you can save.
- Find the budgeting method that works best for you.
Sample a few methods to find one that’s “just right.” Keep in mind different methods work for different people. Popular choices to explore include the cash envelope method and the 50/30/20 rule.
- Approach budgeting as a balancing act.
Budgeting doesn’t mean “no more fun.” Rather, it means prioritizing where you spend your money. For instance, maybe you want to create an emergency fund. Instead of going to dinner and the movies every weekend, go to the movies and deposit the money you would have spent on dinner into the emergency fund. Building room for fun helps you avoid budget burnout.
- Give yourself time to get the hang of budgeting.
Trying new things requires adjustment. Offer yourself grace as you get used to the budgeting process. Order a lunch you didn’t budget for from GrubHub—it's not the end of the world. Just re-examine your budget and reaffirm your goals so that a slip doesn’t turn into a slide.
- Get an accountability partner.
Do you have a friend trying to spend money more carefully? If so, become accountability partners. No one wants to let down a friend. Set weekly check-ins to ensure you’re both staying on budget. If one person loses steam, the other can give them a pep talk. You can also enlist your partner as your accountability buddy. Budgeting as a couple encourages you to discuss important short- and long-term financial goals.
How to Get Started
Now that you’ve reviewed our budget tips for beginners, take advantage of our digital banking tools to make your budgeting process go more smoothly. You can schedule automatic transfers to pay your bills or send money to your savings account so you don’t have to think about it each month. We also recommend setting up a free goal savings account to help you save for specific goals, like a dream vacation. Use our app to customize your goal, visualize your target and track your progress. Questions? Contact our team of associates.