Desert Schools Federal Credit Union offers up the basics on creating a budget

Desert Schools Federal Credit Union is a paid sponsor of Sonoran Living

If your New Year's resolution to be better with your money in 2017 hasn't yet taken hold, you're likely not alone. A lot of us wish to do better but often times just aren't sure what the steps are to get there. Below, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union has offered up the basics on creating a budget to get make you savings savvy in no time.

·    Gather all of your documents
This means anything from your paycheck stubs to monthly bills, credit card statements and more. This will help create a monthly average of income and spending in the next steps.

·    Analyze your income
Make sure to write down and track any and all sources of money coming  
in.

·    Analyze your expenses
Write down of your monthly bills, in addition to any other expenses you expect to incur over the course of a month. These include groceries, gas, insurance, recurring health expenses like prescriptions, pet costs, etc.

·    Divide your expenses into two categories
Fixed expenses - these are those that stay about the same each month and are required parts of your lifestyle - i.e. rent/mortgage, car payment, gas, credit card payment, etc.

Variable expenses - these may vary slightly from month-to-month and include things like groceries, entertainment, etc.

·    Total your monthly income and expenses
If your income exceeds your expenses, you're on the right track. This means you have the ability to prioritize the left over income for paying additional money towards credit card debt, or putting some money away for a rainy day.

If you are showing higher expenses than income, you'll need to make some changes to your living habits and consider adjustments like lowering your cell phone bill, eliminating cable services, etc.

·    Review your budget monthly
This is perhaps the most critical step in the process and can make or break whether you stay on track. After the first month and for at least a few months after, take the time to compare your goals with what you're actually continuing to spend, and make adjustments where necessary.

With some discipline and follow through, the above steps can assist anyone in developing a budget and reaching their basic financial goals.

Desert Schools Federal Credit Union
148 N. 48th Street Phoenix, AZ 85034
(602) 433-7000
www.desertschools.org    

Desert Schools Federal Credit Union is a paid sponsor of Sonoran Living

 

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