April is Financial Literacy Month. We know finances can be overwhelming, but they don’t have to be. Personal Finance is not generally taught in school or at home and we think that’s a problem. Culturally, we’re often taught that it’s not ok to talk about money. Historically, women and people of color have been significantly underserved by financial institutions, so there is often mistrust of the financial system. We believe it’s important to talk about money because only through talking can we share knowledge and support each other. To make your budgeting process less overwhelming, here are a few tips that can help you setup a routine that’ll make you a budget pro in no time.
Bill Pay on Pay Day. Use the pattern of receiving your paycheck as a cue for budgeting. Consider all bills and set money aside for each from every paycheck so you’re not overwhelmed when one large bill arrives.
Pro Tip: For business owners, pay yourself regularly (we recommend twice monthly). View Owner’s Distribution as your paycheck and follow the same process. Check out last week’s post for tips on paying yourself as you grow your business.
Use the envelope system. On Pay Day, distribute money from your paycheck to all your bills (immediate, upcoming, and irregularly scheduled bills). Know where all your money is going. Make sure every dollar has a place, don’t leave any money unassigned.
Pay yourself first. View your Savings as a bill. Better yet, set a goal, like buying a car or a home down payment, and make it a line item on your budget. Decide how much of your paycheck you will allocate to Savings and set that much aside every Pay Day before you distribute to the rest of your bills.
Pro Tip: Review your transaction history to get a sense of how much you can realistically set aside for Savings. Remember to include annual bills, like car insurance and registrations.
Want support in developing and improving your personal finance strategy? Feel free to contact us today to discuss how Personal Finance Coaching can help you get relief from financial stress.
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