The first step to saving more is creating a budget for your personal finances. Knowing how to properly budget is a skill that will be helpful throughout all of life. While it is advised to start at a young age, it is never too late to learn. Whether you have been budgeting for years or are just beginning, Alpine Bank wants to offer five steps for creating a successful budget. We hope you find these helpful and incorporate them into your life.
- Gather all financial information from bank statements, bills, income and anything else that states where your money is going and coming from.
- Take note of all income. Whether you have a full time job, are self-employed, or have an occasional garage sale, write down how much you receive.
- Write down all expenses you have in any given month. These may be bills, groceries, gas, entertainment, college, retirement or gifts. Break these expenses into fixed and variable categories. Your fixed expenses are those that cannot change in order to live, while variable expenses can change.
- Calculate the difference between your income and expenses. If your income is higher than your expenses, you are in good shape and can start saving more or paying off debt. If your expenses are more than your income, you may need to make some adjustments.
- Review your budget frequently to ensure your income and expenses are all lining up. Make adjustments as needed to stay debt free. Remember to prepare for expensive times of the year like Christmas and summer vacations.
Alpine Bank encourages you to take steps necessary to save more money. We know life can be busy, but taking time to create and use a budget will be beneficial in the future. Contact Alpine Bank for your financial questions and concerns.