While you may be planning that last summer vacation or doing your back to school shopping, now is the perfect time to take another look at your budget and see if it could use a revamp.
Here are a few ways to think about giving your savings goals a boost.
1.) Time to recalculate? Has anything changed since the last time you sat down with your budget? New job, a raise, an addition to the family? Any of this could impact your spending and definitely your saving plans. Sit down now before fall starts and see if any add-ons need to be accounted for.
2.) You set the rules. Now that you have been living with a budget for a while, you can review and see what needs to be tweaked. A budget is not meant to put a strangle hold on your finances, if there are a few items that make life worth living ( bi- weekly mani/pedi or your favorite sushi) add it in, but make sound choices and realize you can only have one or two of these.
3.) Have a stash of “fun” money. Once you’ve paid your bills for the month, decide on one, maybe two fun things you want to do and grab some cash from the ATM, it could be Friday night out with friends, or a really cute pair of shoes, but once its done, your done spending until next month.
4.) Save automatically. Set up an account where the money comes out of your paycheck and you don’t even see it! Even better if you don’t have access to this account unless its an emergency. Just act like this account does not exist and see how quickly it grows!
5.) Revisit your fixed expenses. There are certain expenses we pay every month without thinking about it, cell phone, cable, credit card, etc. Check in with these bills every now and then to be sure you are getting the best deal possible. Shaving off even a few dollars on the fixed expenses by asking for a better deal or lower interest rate can result in real dollars you can now add to your savings account.
Remember, your budget is a flowing document that moves with you and grows as you grow. Be sure you reasonably adjust it according to your life so that you are getting the most out of it!
Black Enterprise Columnist Jennifer Streaks is a Financial Expert, Author, & Pundit. Continue the conversation by following her on twitter @JStreaks or visiting her website at www.JenniferStreaks.com.