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If you’re resolving to get in good financial shape this new year, all of your 2022 money goals should start with the same thing — a budget.
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“A family budget is important because it helps to create a plan for how you’re going to use your money now and in the future,” said Ahren Tiller, founder and supervising attorney at The Bankruptcy Law Center. “Everyone has different needs, so developing a budget that works for you and your family will help you set priorities around how to spend your money in the most efficient way possible.”
Everyone has different needs, indeed — and they also have different personalities, different habits, different strengths and different weaknesses. The good news is, there’s a budget for everyone. Set yourself up for financial success in 2022 by creating a budget that works for you and your lifestyle.
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Getting in the Habit of Paying Attention
Before you learn about the different budgeting strategies and which types of people they tend to suit, start by adopting a mindset of financial awareness — without it, you’ll never stick to any budget no matter which one you choose.
“The most efficient budgeting strategy is simply being aware,” said Greg Wilson, a chartered financial analyst and owner of budgeting and frugal living site ChaChingQueen.com. “So many of us are not aware of where our money goes. We all know what we make before taxes, but we aren’t all aware of what we take home. Simply knowing what you spend and how much you take home is the best foundation for a budget. After that, you can decide whether or not to try to stick with tracking strategies.”
Manual Budgeting: For the Beginner
There are a million apps that can link your accounts, track your monthly subscriptions and break down your spending categories into nice little pie charts. But if you’ve never tracked your income and spending before, old-fashioned pen and paper can be the most up-close-and-personal way to get acquainted with your finances.
“If you’re a beginner to budgeting, an efficient budgeting strategy is to just start tracking your cash that’s coming in and going out,” said Jacqueline Gilchrist, founder of MomMoneyMap.com. “Get a piece of paper or open up a spreadsheet and tally up for the previous month what money came in, e.g. salary, bonuses, tips, etc., and what money went out, e.g. …….