3 Steps to Keeping a Budget this Holiday Season
Budgeting your personal finances is vital all year but even more essential during the holiday season when spending can be at an all-time high. To help you create a budget, the Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA)’s Financial Literacy Program has a free and easy to use budgeting tool! You’ll be able to build a preliminary budget in minutes and customize each section to fit your unique budgeting needs.
Step One: Identify Your Monthly Income
To create a monthly budget, you need to calculate how much money you have access to month-to-month. If you earn a yearly salary, identify how many paychecks you will receive in the selected month. If you are paid hourly, determine the number of hours you will be working throughout the month to create a base income from which to work. Using this calculated amount, you will be able to move to step two.
Step Two: Categorize Your Spending
What are Fixed Costs?
Fixed costs are the indispensable bills or expenses such as food, rent or mortgage costs, and utilities you pay monthly. When crafting a budget, be sure to prioritize your fixed costs.
Flex costs are generally the expendable costs you incur throughout the month. These expenses tend to fluctuate depending on the month or season and can be especially high during the holiday season.
Putting money aside to save every month is a great way to plan for unexpected emergencies down the road or to help accomplish long-term financial goals like retirement.
The budgeting tool will build you a basic budget and you can customize based off your personal estimated expenses each month.
Step Three: Track Your Expenses
NAFSA’s budgeting tool can help you develop a basic budget which you can customize to your estimated expenses each month. As you spend throughout the month, track your expenses in the budgeting tool. By the end of your first month, not only will you be more aware of how your money was spent, but you can use this information to tweak your future budgets.
Through their Financial Literacy Program, NAFSA provides financial literacy modules and tools with easy-to-understand information to help people better understand their finances and make more informed decisions.
Explore the program today: https://nafsa.everfi-next.net/