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Published on September 03, 2020

Managing finances

4 easy financial tips to help you feel more organized right now

These can be uncertain times with furloughs, job loss or reduced pay. It is good to have a financial plan so you know how to adjust spending if your income is reduced. For additional advice on financial wellness, reach out to your local accountant or financial advisor for assistance.

  1. Analyze your spending. Begin by analyzing your spending. What are you spending your money on each month? There are many apps that can help you with this, or you can develop a spreadsheet. It is a good idea to categorize your spending on items such as housing, any debt that you may have, utilities, transportation (including car payments, fuel and other travel), food, savings, giving, recreation, etc.
  2. Determine essential versus non-essential purchases. While your housing payment and grocery bill are essential purchases, that cute new top or daily coffee is not. Categorize your spending and budget into essential spending and non-essential spending. This will help you determine how much you need to make ends meet each month.
  3. Develop a budget. After you have a couple of months’ worth of spending documented, analyzed your purchases and determined what is essential versus what is not, you can develop a reasonable budget. How much money is coming in each month and how much is going out? Are you left with a surplus at the end of the month or having to dip into your savings or purchase on credit to make ends meet?
  4. Set financial goals. After developing your budget and knowing where you sit financially you can start to develop goals. Remember, your spending should match your goals. Maybe you want to pay off the rest of your student debt or save more aggressively for retirement. Account for these items in your budget and determine where you can shave off another spending. A few small changes can account for a few extra hundred dollars each month, or a couple thousand per year! Imagine putting a few thousand dollars towards your goals. That might be your dream vacation, financial freedom or security without living paycheck to paycheck.

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