Budgeting can be a game-changer. Start the new year off right with a savings plan and setting goals that are achievable. Check out these tips to help boost your savings and take control of your spending.

Track Your Spending

Tracking and categorizing your expenses can help you determine what you are spending the most money on and where it might be easiest to save. Begin by listing your fixed expenses. These are regular monthly bills such as rent or mortgage, utilities, and car payments. Next list your variable expenses—those that may change from month to month, such as groceries, gas, and entertainment. This is an area where you might find opportunities to cut back.

Set Realistic Goals

Make a list of your short- and long-term financial goals. Short-term goals should take around one to three years to achieve and might include things like setting up an emergency fund or paying down credit card debt. Long-term goals, such as saving for retirement or your child’s education, may take longer to reach. Remember, your goals don’t have to be set in stone, but identifying them can help motivate you to stick to your budget.

Separate Your Needs vs. Wants

Take a look at your spending habits – separating your needs vs. wants. Use the variable and fixed expenses you compiled to get a sense of what you’ll spend in the coming months. Then compare that to your net income and priorities. Consider setting specific—and realistic—spending limits for each category of expenses.

Adjust Your Spending to Stay on Budget

Now that you’ve documented your income and spending, you can make any necessary adjustments so that you don’t overspend and have money to put toward your goals. Even small savings can add up to a lot of money. You might be surprised at how much extra money you accumulate by making one minor adjustment at a time.

Review Your Budget Regularly

Once your budget is set, it’s important to review it and your spending on a regular basis to be sure you are staying on track. Get into the habit of regularly checking in with your budget following the steps above. After you start becoming more aware of your spending, you might find additional ways to save. 

Looking to open a checking or savings account? Find out which Peoples Bank Checking or Savings Account is best for you.

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