What would you do if you had an extra $100 in your pocket right now? $500? What about a few extra thousand dollars?
Most of us dream of having all of that extra pocket cash, but how?
If you’re looking to improve your financial situation, there are a few key money-saving tips that you can follow. Keep reading to learn 4 budgeting skills that will carry your finances well through 2020 and beyond.
Track Your Current Spending (You Might Be Surprised)
Before you can create a budget plan, it’s a good idea to take some time and track your current spending.
It’s easy to think you know exactly what your spending habits are, but you might be surprised how the little expenses can add up.
Love your morning Starbucks? If you think five dollars isn’t a big deal, consider this. If you order just one Starbucks coffee, five days a week, you will have spent nearly $1500 on coffee by the end of the year.
Look at your bank statement and try to categorize your spending. Do this for a few weeks to get the best record of your spending habits.
Create a Budget Based on Your Spending Habits
Once you have your spending cheat sheet, you can start to cross the T’s and dot the I’s.
What expenses can you cut? Are there any monthly subscriptions that you aren’t using anymore?
If you struggle with eating out too often, try your hand at meal prepping.
Don’t be fooled by the little charges – those other ones that can make a big difference.
Set up Auto-Debit
Some companies like creditors, banks, utility, etc., will actually give you a small discount on your monthly bill if you set up auto-debit.
Auto debit is not only helpful in that it brings a discount, but it also helps you to avoid late fees and other frustrating charges.
Additionally, you can set up an auto-pay option for your savings account. Many banks offer a feature that will auto-debit a pre-set amount from your direct deposit and put it straight into your savings account.
This feature is particularly helpful because you never see the money go into your checking account. You can’t miss what you didn’t know you had, right?
Understand and Deduct Taxes
Whether you know it or not, the biggest expense you’ll ever have starts with the IRS.
The IRS starts taking taxes straight from your paycheck, but then has the audacity to ask for more money come tax season.
On top of that, you are expected to pay taxes on your property, home, side income, and even small purchases like toilet paper and tampons.
While you can’t stop Uncle Sam from sucking the life out of your bank account, you can take as many deductions as possible to try and lessen the blow.
It’s also a good idea to use a monthly tax calculator to help you plan for when Uncle Sam comes to visit.
New Budgeting Skills Achieved
All in all, cutting corners and saving a few extra dollars doesn’t have to be a hard feat. By learning these simple budgeting skills you’ll find your savings account fuller and your pockets heavier.
Browse through the rest of our site for more ways to hack your financial situation and start off the new year right.