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Beating the Budget Blues

Behind every financially successful person is a smart budget. Many young people do not think they need a budget because they do not have a high income, or they think budgeting is too hard and time-consuming. They spend as much they want on clothes, movies, and books, but when the bills come in, they wonder where all their money went! If this sounds like you- good news! Creating a budgeting is quick, easy, and anyone can do it.

A good rule when budgeting is the 50-30-20 rule. 50% of your income should go towards paying your necessary expenses- things like your tuition, phone bill, and groceries. 30% of your income can go towards unnecessary expenses- things like movies, shopping, or concert tickets. You might also want to consider using some of this money as a charitable donation to your church or favorite non-profit. Finally, 20% of your income should go in a savings account. You never know when your car might break or you might lose your job. It’s always a good idea to give yourself a safety net to fall back on.

Here are three tips you can use to help stay on track and budget smart!

Shop used

Whether its textbooks or clothes, shop used! There are many websites and stores where you can find your favorite brands used for a fraction of the price. Buying used does not have to mean buying lesser quality. Lots of people sell books they only read one chapter of or clothes they only wore once.

Eat wisely

There are many ways to save on food so you’re not stuck eating your roommate’s leftovers for dinner. The most important rule when it comes to food is to eat at home whenever possible. For the price of one latte at the coffee shop, you can buy an entire bag of coffee grounds at the store that will last you a week! When you go grocery shopping, make a shopping list. It’s amazing how everything looks delicious when you go grocery shopping with a full wallet and an empty stomach. Make a list of what you need before you go, and stick to it.

Re-evaluate

Not everyone has a fixed income year-round. Maybe you work part-time during the school year and full-time during summers. As life changes, your budget should too. Assess your budget each month to see where you can cut costs and maximize your income. Creating a budget will help you give you peace of mind about your money. It doesn’t take away your freedom when it comes to spending- it gives you freedom from stress! If you shop used, eat wisely, and re-evaluate your budget often, you will realize just how far your dollars can stretch. Soon, you will find yourself wondering how you ever lived any other way!

This article should not be considered legal, tax, or financial advice. You may wish to consult a tax or financial advisor about your individual financial situation.

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