Building a balanced budget

As the new year approaches, New Year’s resolutions are often at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Whether you have health-focused goals or want to read more, the New Year is a wonderful time for a fresh start – especially when it comes to budgeting. Budgeting can often be intimidating, but like most things, it takes practice! Creating a balanced, functional budget that works for you and your family is a great way to improve your financial and mental health. Check out a few recommendations to set your mind (and your wallet) at ease.

Create goals

Budgeting is important, but have you asked yourself what you want to achieve through this style of money management? Establishing goals for your budget often makes it easy to track progress and can motivate you to continue down the budgeting path. Here are a few examples of budgeting goals:

  • Monitor spending to cut unnecessary costs and save money.
  • Pay off loans or debts.
  • Save money for the future.

Review your spending

Now that you’ve created your budgeting goals, it’s time to evaluate your spending habits. Review your spending over the last few months and organize your charges into categories like food, car, rent, utilities, etc. From here, you can create an average expense that becomes your budget for that category.

Start small

Once you’ve established each category’s budget, get to saving! It can be overwhelming, so we recommend starting small. Is the majority of your food budget spent on dining out or fast food? Money Under 30 estimates that a meal prepared by a restaurant is $13, whereas a meal created at home using store-bought groceries is only about $4. That’s around a 325% increase! Simple switches like bringing lunch from home instead of grabbing whatever’s at the food truck is an easy way to cut costs.

Reward yourself

We get it – budgeting isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, so why not make it fun? With the extra money you saved, consider using some of it to go to the movies or a new restaurant you’ve wanted to try. Associating budgeting with something special or fun makes it that much more rewarding!

At the Wellness and Stress Clinic of Memphis, we focus on the whole person – mental, physical and spiritual. Budgeting is another tool to assist you on your daily journey to overall wellness.

If you’re interested in learning more about budgeting or our free services, please contact us at 901-306-5433 or email info@wellness901.org.

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