Budget Calculator Today | Are You Spending Too Much?
Creating and maintaining a budget is crucial for financial stability, peace of mind, and planning for the future.
Despite the importance of monthly budgeting, only one third of Americans actively follow a monthly budget.
Part of this may stem from the fact that budgeting can be a daunting, time-consuming task if you don’t have access to the right tools.
Along with budgeting apps and software programs, consumers can also use budget calculators to improve their financial awareness and create a plan for future spending and saving, detailed below.
7 Best Budgeting Tips
Using a budget calculator is only one part of managing a successful budget—you’ll also need to adopt proactive habits to set yourself up for success while learning how to create and maintain a monthly budget.
Below, we have outlined a list of top budgeting tips to help keep you focused and on track to accomplish your budgeting goals.
1. Evaluate Your Income
This could be challenging for those who are self-employed, or who do not receive a uniform paycheck each month, but knowing exactly how much money is coming in is the first step to creating a manageable budget.
Make sure to include all aspects of your income, including bonuses, child support, or alimony.
This will allow you to set attainable goals and help you see a holistic view of what you can afford—and what you can’t.
2. Pay Bills First
To create a successful budget, you also need a clear understanding of how much you are paying in bills each month. Make a clear outline of each bill and pay them as far in advance as you can.
This is also a good opportunity to find ways to decrease your monthly bills. For example, if you notice that your electric bill is high, you can start adopting habits to decrease payments, like turning lights off and unplugging appliances when not in use.
3. Start Keeping Receipts
We’re all guilty of throwing out receipts without a second thought, but saving receipts is a great way to see exactly where your money is going. Make a habit of keeping your receipts and reviewing them each week.
You may be surprised at how much you are spending on extraneous purchases like going out to eat or a night on the town.
4. Plan Your Meals
On that note, avoiding eating out at restaurants as much as possible is a good way to improve your budgeting skills.
Purchasing groceries may seem expensive in the short-term, but in the long-term choosing to cook at home instead of dining out can do wonders for cutting down on expenses.
5. Set Goals
Whether you want to put aside extra money for a new house, a car, a tropical vacation, or to create a savings plan for retirement, setting clear goals will help keep you motivated while budgeting.
Your budgeting goals can be either immediate or long-term, but to create a comprehensive plan you should try to involve both.
Ultimately, goals will provide an outline of success. A successful budget will look different for every person—but if you can specifically define what success means for you, it’s much more likely that you can reach your goals.
6. Make Saving a Priority
Many consumers seek out budget calculators and tools because they want to establish strong savings habits. Set aside a certain percentage or amount from each paycheck to dedicate to a savings account, and make that your first budgeting priority each month.
7. Be Flexible
Budgeting is tough and even the most dedicated budgeter is bound to slip up every now and then. Being flexible means adjusting to changes, and acknowledging that it’s okay to make a few mistakes.
It’s also good to keep in mind that you should also include activities or things that you love within your budget. Life shouldn’t be completely about frugality, so don’t forget to treat yourself occasionally.
Budgeting Tools, Calculators, & Software
Budget calculators are a great way to evaluate your spending habits. There are plenty of budget calculators available for free online, including:
Along with a budget calculator, there are plenty of apps and software that can help you define—and achieve—your financial goals. Check out the following top-rated budgeting tools and software below:
- Personal Capital—Top ranked FREE personal finance software
- Mint—Free budgeting and bill pay app
- You Need A Budget—$50 annually for powerful budgeting tools
Thankfully, with the help of budgeting calculators and apps, creating and maintaining a budget does not have to be complicated, time-consuming, or stressful.
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