Kristin Fink September 29, 2020 Budget
A budget is the most fundamental and effective financial management tool available to everyone and it does not cost a penny. Absolutely anyone can work out their budget and simply doing so helps you to see how much you earn, how much you spend and where you are spending it.
Beware of small, impulse purchases. Small and impulsive purchases like this are usually the reason that our money does not make it through the month. Lots of little purchases can end of eating away a significant chunk of our monthly income because we do not really see it happening. The money disappears a little at a time, so it does not hurt until we look at the big picture. Another good example of this happening is buying lunch every day at work. If we run out and get fast food every day, that can be $5 a day, $25 a week, and $100 a month. If two spouses are doing this, it adds another $200 a month to the food budget.
As far as money allotted for paying down debt like credit cards and student loans, you can shave a little off of savings until the balances are paid down or paid off completely. It is important with credit card debt to pay more than the minimum amount due, otherwise you are paying mostly interest and very little of your balance. Student loans however can be paid off in minimum payments without costing you enormous interest rates.
Use a mortgage calculator to research all various options open to you before agreeing to refinance your home. Once you feel you have the right balance and are happy with the kind of mortgage rates available, take the results to the meeting you have with the mortgage lender. Showing him the mortgage calculator research indicates that you have thought seriously about this and where your proposed figures come from.
You realize the basic idea, but what if you do not fit into this category either. If your debt is far less manageable you can contact your local Consumer Credit Counseling Service or a debt consolidation company to help you get back on track. If your credit is still in good shape you may be able to get a low interest loan to consolidate debt yourself with monthly payments you can afford.
Food shopping - always make a list, it is too easy to pick up things you do not really need. Consider buying different brands if they are cheaper, instead of just picking up the one you always get. You will find that fruit and vegetables are generally cheaper from a market or a greengrocer - and you have the added advantage of only buying what you want (instead of a pack of three lettuces for instance). Hope this has helped with your budget calculations.