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  • Writer's pictureForward Learning Group

Tips to Take Control of Your Finances

Updated: Apr 15

A picture that shows a lady writing on a black chalck board "Take Control of Your Finances with these Tips"
Learn how to "Take Control of your Finances" with Forward Learning Group.

Feeling overwhelmed by your finances? You're not alone!

Many people struggle to manage their money effectively. But the good news is that creating a budget can be a powerful tool to take control of your finances and achieve your financial goals. Here at Forward Learning Group, we understand how finances affect your business and personal lives.

This blog post will equip you with the knowledge and tools to build a solid budget. Forward Learning Group will walk you through the steps of creating a budget, explore popular budgeting methods, and offer practical tips to help you stick to your plan.

Step 1: Know Where You Stand

Before diving into budgeting, it's crucial to understand your current financial situation. Gather your most recent pay stubs and bank statements. List all your income sources, including salary, side hustles, or investments.

Next, track your expenses for a month. Categorize them into essentials like rent, utilities, groceries, and transportation. Include non-essential spending like entertainment, dining out, and subscriptions. There are budgeting apps and spreadsheets available to simplify this process.

Step 2: Choose Your Budgeting Method

Several budgeting methods can fit different lifestyles and preferences. Here's a breakdown of some popular options:

  • The 50/30/20 Rule: This simple method allocates your after-tax income into three categories:

  • 50% Needs: Essential expenses you can't live without (housing, utilities, food, transportation).

  • 30% Wants: Fun money for entertainment, dining out, or hobbies.

  • 20% Savings & Debt Repayment: This crucial pot goes towards building your emergency fund, saving for goals, or paying off debt.

  • Zero-Based Budgeting: This method assigns every dollar of your income a specific purpose. You list all your income and expenses, ensuring your total expenses equal your income. This method is great for those who need a detailed breakdown of their spending.

  • Envelope System: This traditional method uses physical envelopes for each spending category. You allocate cash for each category and track your spending by keeping receipts within the envelopes. This method can be helpful for people who struggle with impulse spending.

Step 3: Building Your Budget

Once you've chosen your method, it's time to create your budget. Here's a basic framework from Forward Learning Group:

  • Income: List all your income sources and their average monthly amount.

  • Expenses: Categorize your expenses (fixed and variable) and record their average monthly costs based on your tracking in step 1.

  • Savings Goals: Determine your savings goals (emergency fund, down payment, retirement) and allocate a monthly amount towards them.

  • Debt Repayment: List your debts and minimum payments. Consider allocating additional funds for faster repayment.

Step 4: Sticking to Your Budget

Creating a budget is only half the battle. Here are some tips to stay on track:

  • Review Regularly: Review your budget weekly or monthly to ensure you're on track. Adjust as needed based on income fluctuations or unexpected expenses.

  • Automate Savings & Debt Payments: Set up automatic transfers to your savings account and debt payments to avoid missed payments and late fees.

  • Embrace Cash: Consider using cash for specific categories like groceries or entertainment. This can be a physical reminder of your spending limits.

  • Track Your Progress: Use budgeting apps or spreadsheets to monitor your spending and visualize your progress. Seeing goals met can be motivating.

  • Be Flexible: Life happens. Unexpected expenses may arise. Adjust your budget accordingly and avoid the guilt trap. Sticking 80% to the plan is better than abandoning it completely.

"Budgeting is a Journey, Not a Destination"

Remember, budgeting is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes practice, but the more you do it, the smoother it gets.

And hey, even if your budget takes a tumble sometimes (hello, unexpected car repair!), don't beat yourself up. Just dust yourself off, adjust as needed, and keep moving forward.- - - - -

Life throws a lot at us, from managing finances to navigating tricky relationships and figuring out the whole "adulting" thing. That's why we, Forward Learning Group, created The L3Perspective Podcast! Think of it as your personal growth squad!  Our awesome hosts, Cam Macias and Glenn Davis, and expert guests have real conversations about the stuff that matters: love, life's crazy twists and turns, and how to be a total boss (without being a jerk!). Give it a listen! Peace and Love! x

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