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JMHS Blog

5 Useful Tips on How to Budget

Written by Nicole Dalbo on Wednesday, 02 March 2022. Posted in Helpful Tips

A hand placing a coin into one of three  jars of coins with leaves sprouting in each.

If you’re new to the world of planning your budgeting, it can definitely feel overwhelming. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be! Budgeting is a smart way to keep your spending in check so that you can save your money for what matters most. Reaching new financial goals that may be a bit of a stretch can certainly become a realistic target with some planning. If you want to soar to new heights and save for your future, check out these 5 helpful tips to get you on the right track to become a budgeting pro.

If you’re new to the world of planning your budgeting, it can definitely feel overwhelming. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be! Budgeting is a smart way to keep your spending in check so that you can save your money for what matters most. Reaching new financial goals that may be a bit of a stretch can certainly become a realistic target with some planning. If you want to soar to new heights and save for your future, check out these 5 helpful tips to get you on the right track to become a budgeting pro.

1. Keep in mind the big reasons why you’re budgeting.

What sort of goals are you aiming to accomplish? When budgeting, this is one of the most important factors. Whether you’re aiming to bring your debt down to zero, saving up for a pricey goal, working on your personal savings, or all of the above — knowing what you’re trying to accomplish can help define your budgeting plan and remind you why it matters.

2. Define what you need vs what you want.

Everything that you spend money on will belong in a need category or a want category. Realizing what you need versus what you don’t need can be tricky, yet it’s still totally doable. Here’s an example: Food can be treated as both a need and a want. You need food to survive, but you may want your daily drive-thru coffee or want to go out to a restaurant twice a week. The needs you define will be the starting point for your budget. You need to map out all your needs – bills, gas, groceries, medical care, etc. and then subtract them from your take-home income to figure out what’s left. While you can always factor in wants to your budget, keep in mind that they can always be removed to make room for what’s more important, including your reach goals.

3. Organize your spending.

The best way to keep a budget is knowing exactly how much you’re spending each month. You can choose to keep track of your spending through budgeting apps, or by organizing it yourself through a virtual spreadsheet or writing it down on paper. It’s important to account for each dollar you earn and spend for the most accurate budgeting results, otherwise your budget won’t be accurate. Effectively organizing means that you will be able to optimize your budget!

4. Save where you can.

Coupons, discounts, and generic brands of your go-to products are all super helpful options when shopping for your needs. Those few extra dollars you save really add up and will help contribute to your goal in a meaningful way! When you go shopping, go with a set list so you aren’t tempted to get things you don’t need.

5. Watch your savings grow.

Good things take time. With budgeting you probably won’t be able to see results on day one, and that’s okay! Like a seed that’s been planted, your savings will take time to grow. The longer you keep at it, the greater it will become. Your efforts can make a huge difference in your life, so keep going and don’t give up!

Looking to increase your budget? Having a high school diploma could greatly boost your hiring and earning potential and speed up your savings growth process. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, workers that have earned a high school diploma make about $8,500 more dollars per year than those who have not yet earned one. Expand your budget and reach new heights by earning your diploma with JMHS. For more information on enrolling in James Madison, contact our Admissions Specialists at .

About the Author

Nicole Dalbo

Nicole Dalbo

Nicole Dalbo studied English Literature with a minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Scranton and is currently working toward her MS in Marketing. When she isn’t writing, Nicole can be found watching the newest Marvel movie, baking something sweet, or jamming out to live music.