How to Budget Like a Pro
When I say the word “budget”, what’s the first thought that comes to mind? Do you groan and think, “sounds like a bunch of restrictions”, or do you get excited and think, “this is a great way to save money”? There’s no wrong answer, because the truth is that budgeting is a mixture of both.
I’d invite you to think of “restrictions” to instead be “guidelines” of how understanding and creating a budget can help get you to a more comfortable lifestyle. Over time, you’re able to save money and invest in what you WANT to do, like traveling, rather than living paycheck to paycheck and feeling stressed out. A little planning now can go a long way for your financial future.
Here are 3 way to help you budget like a pro:
1. List All of Your Expenses
When you write down every dollar you spend, it allows you to pay attention to where you’re spending money, how often you’re making unnecessary purchases, and the opportunity to make changes as needed. How much is being invested in fixed expenses, like rent, utilities and car payments, versus variable spending, like buying more clothes, getting a pedicure, or dinners out with friends? Don’t get me wrong - it’s important to have balance, but you want to make sure you’re not living a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget if you’re trying to save money.
2. Have a Goal in Mind
Knowing what you’re saving for as you begin learning the ropes of budgeting like a pro can help motivate you to stick to your budget. Are you dreaming about the day you get to call yourself a homeowner? How much would that ideal home cost? How much money do you need to save to have a great down payment that helps you have immediate home equity? (These are questions I can help you answer, by the way, so don’t get too worried if you need some assistance.)
3. Create a Budget to Meet Your Goal
Once you’ve outlined your fixed and variable expenses and you have an ultimate goal in mind to encourage you to stay on track, now comes the fun part of creating a monthly budget that works for you. You’ll be able to analyze the areas of opportunity to save money, while still ensuring your essential living costs are covered.
Part of what I do as a mortgage professional is to help you create a budget that allows you to feel comfortable with your monthly mortgage payment and other real estate expenses. Connect with me today at firstname.lastname@example.org so you can learn more about how to budget like a pro and be able to purchase your dream home in the near future!