Indeed the old saying “most people fail to plan” rings true and with tax season here it’s always a great time to put a plan into place for the coming year… forget about last year if it was a financial mess… but this year doesn’t have to be! Consumer.gov has rolled out a resource with loads of basic tips (they may be basic, however, many people fail to do the simple things) and some handy resources, like this budget worksheet [PDF]. Some quick tips from the resource:
- Create a document with two columns: one with your monthly income and another with your monthly expenses. FDIC.gov has an example of a budget worksheet (at the end of the page).
- In the expenses section, separate them by fixed and flexible. That way you can prioritize your monthly expenditures.
- If monthly expenses exceed income, then you have to look for ways to reduce expenses or make more money. It’s usually more feasible to reduce flexible expenses such as mobile phones bills, water and electricity.