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Take the Simple Three-step Approach to Budgeting

Money management is easier to accomplish when you keep it simple and revisit your plan regularly. The more complex your plan, the more likely you are to either avoid it entirely or veer away from your goals. To keep it simple, here’s a straightforward three step approach.

  1. Track Your Expenses
  2. Set Your Goals
  3. Change Your Spending

Start by downloading the following tools to get started:

Pocket Spending
Budget Worksheet

    Write down every place you spend your money. Use a note pad, or keep receipts in an envelope or use our pocket spending tracker. Just fold the tracker so that you can carry it in your wallet. Every time you spend money, write it down. Track your expenses for thirty days. Make sure you include irregular expenses such as gifts, vehicle and home maintenance, dentist, clothing and insurance. Estimate annual amount for irregular expenses and divide by 12 to determine the monthly amount to be set aside for these items.
    Once you’ve seen where your money goes, consider what you could do with that money instead of where you are spending it. For example, if you have 2 cups of coffee a day at $2 each, that’s $1,200/year. Determine short, medium and long range financial goals. Once you have planned your goals and tracked your spending, it becomes easier to prioritize your spending and save to achieve those goals.
    There are many ways you can change your spending patterns to help you achieve your goals:

    • Develop a realistic budget
    • Don’t spend more than you make
    • Save regularly
    • Pay bills on time
    • Use credit wisely
    • Review your budget plan and re-evaluate your spending patterns regularly.

We know that life happens, and those life events affect your budget. Carizon is delivering a “Money Matters” workshop to help individuals address their financial needs as they move through all of life’s stages. Sponsored by Hoyes, Michalos, this free workshop will help participants learn about budgeting and financial literacy through life’s many transitions. Money Matters on Monday, Novvember 20, 6:30 – 8:30 pm. To register, call 519-743-6333. Learn more.