Build a Budget

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Creating a budget is easy, but sticking to it may not be. By sticking to a budget, creating restrictions and making a plan for the future, your life down the road will most likely be more financially stable than before.

Although every budget is different, and the means to get there are personal, there is one essential piece of information to keep in mind: Expenses should never exceed income.

Keep the following tips in mind in order to build and stick with a budget:

1) Make a list of your and your spouse's (if applicable) net income from all sources. This should be based on post-tax numbers. If your unsure of salaries based on seasonal changes or other life events, it's best recommended to round down your earnings and be left with money at the end.

2) Make a list of all monthly expenses. Our budget worksheet may help in this case, as it sections out each possible expense and may help ensure you don't forget anything. When listing these expenses, be sure not to forget gifts, planned trips or known debts. Savings should also be factored in as well.

3) Calculate what you may spend per month on average. This can be completed by totaling what you spend per year and dividing it by 12. Once this is determined, subtract your current expenses from your current income.

If the outcome seems to good to be true, you may be in better shape than you thought, or something may have been miscalculated along the way. Take some time to go over the numbers, or consider tracking your spending for a few months to get the exact number.

If you find that you're spending more than you make, that's okay, because now you are aware of it. Changes will have to be made though, sooner rather than later. Take a look at your spending, saving and overall income. What can be reduced or increased to ensure you are living within your means?

Saving money can be difficult, but with a Bethpage expert on your side, it isn't impossible. Consider coming in for an appointment today to discuss your personal issues or learn more.

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