Do you have a budget deficit?

Do you have a budget deficit?

If so, there are only two ways to fix it – increase your income – or decrease your expenses.  There is no magic formula!  It is as simple as that. 

When you look at your expenses there are many ways to decrease them.

  • Do you stop for your daily coffee on the way into work?  That $3.00 latte adds up to $780 each year!  What if you brewed a pot at home and took your coffee to work with you?  That is a savings of $60.00 per month!  
  • Have you compared your auto/home insurance policies lately?  You may find another company will offer the same coverage for a reduced premium amount.
  • Do you smoke?  The obvious savings would come from quitting but until you are ready to do that, purchasing cigarettes by the carton instead of by the box can offer up a substantial savings. 
  • Everyone buys groceries.  Do YOU know what you spend for groceries each week?  The idea is to plan ahead and determine what you can afford to spend on groceries – not vice versa! 

 Once you take a close look at your monthly expenses you can analyze them, and make cuts and adjustments as necessary, to balance your budget.  Every expense you have is a candidate for some type of reduction or elimination.   Reducing your expenses forces you to focus on what really matters.  You will begin to notice unneeded items you’re willing to part with and what needs to stay to create the life you want.

To increase your income look at what your exemptions are.  If you get a huge refund each year it just means that you are claiming incorrectly.  You can change that by requesting a W-4 form from your employer.  You can go to www.irs.gov and use the Withholding Calculator to help you know what the proper withholdings should be.  Other ways to supplement your income include donating plasma, asking for a raise, or getting a part time job.  Another option is to sell something – do you really need that trailer, or snowmobile, or skis, or…  You get the picture – if you aren’t using the items sell them! Not only will you pick up extra cash or eliminate a payment, you may find additional savings through elimination of some insurance policies. 

You can balance your budget.  It takes some honest assessment of where your money is going but will bring you peace of mind to know you are living within (or below) your means.  The stress relief is worth it!

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