Three Easy Steps to Budgeting

If you’re one of the three in 10 Americans who say they aren’t budgeting, now is the perfect time to start keeping track of your expenses and figure out where you’re spending your money and how much. * Here are three easy steps to start managing your money:

  • List any fixed monthly expenses you are expected to pay each month, such as mortgage/rent, utilities, internet, childcare, groceries, car payments, health insurance, minimum loan and debt payments, savings, etc. Add them up and subtract from your monthly take home pay.
  • Automate all the fixed expenses to be paid on a particular date every month. This way, you will not have to worry about paying bills on time or overspending. Set a hard budget line for the others (such as groceries and gasoline). The money left over is your discretionary spending allowance for the month.
  • If you don’t already have a rainy-day fund, save up your discretionary spending allowance until you have enough saved for emergencies, pay off debt or save for retirement.


*, “Many Americans Don’t Have $400 for Emergencies,” March 16, 2020


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