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Tips for Sticking to Your Budget

Many aspects of your retirement plan are beyond your direct control. For example, you have no control over the financial markets or their impact on your savings growth. You also have no control over the benefits available to you from social security other than when or how to start taking them. You cannot control healthcare expenses or inflation. These are all aspects of your retirement plan that you must estimate, plan for, and utilize trusted professionals to manage without having control. However, there is one aspect of your financial plan that is frequently overlooked — you can control your spending. Retirement is a time when you shift from living on your earnings to living on a fixed income. A vitally important aspect of having enough to live through retirement is learning to live on a budget. Knowing your budget and needs, rather than your pre-retirement income, is powerful information in creating a successful retirement plan. In today’s post, we will provide you with a few tips you can keep in mind to help you create a budget so that you are more financially stable in the future.

At Brokerage Specialists in Grand Island, we believe that it is never too early to start planning for retirement, and we recommend that you start budgeting as soon as possible. We understand that preparing for retirement can feel daunting and overwhelming, which is why we offer financial planning assistance! Whether you want help creating a plan for your future or you would like us to complete a risk analysis, our team is here to help. Explore our website to learn more about our financial planning services and advice, and give us a call when you’re ready to get started.

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Track Your Expenses

Those who have worked within a budget for years may already know how much they spend on a monthly basis and how much they can reasonably save. However, if you’ve never created or worked within a budget, tracking your expenses is the perfect place to start. In order to create an accurate budget, you first need to understand how much you spend during the month and on what. We recommend starting at the beginning of the month and recording each and every item you spend money on, including your monthly bills. Once the month is up, you will be able to put your expenses into a spreadsheet and determine where you spend the most money and where you may be able to cut back on some of your spending.

Wait On Big Purchases

Unfortunately, many people struggle with spending their money on big purchases. It can be tempting when you have the money in your account and you see something you really want. Instead of immediately buying a more expensive item as soon as you decide to want it, we recommend waiting on big purchases. Just because you want something in the moment doesn’t mean you’ll want it long-term. Consider waiting at least a week before you make the purchase. If you’re still thinking about buying that item after a week, then you can make a plan to either save up or purchase the item immediately. However, you may find that after just a week of waiting, you no longer want that item.

Go Minimal

If your goal is to save as much money as you can for your retirement, then you may want to consider going minimal. Minimalism has become a popular way to live for many reasons. Some people simply love a more minimalistic style, but others prefer to live their lives with minimal items so they can save more money.

To get started with minimalism, you will first need to identify your needs and your wants. Your needs are what you will need to live each day, such as clothes, food, and shelter. Your wants are things you would like to have in your life, but they aren’t necessary to your survival. Once you’ve identified your wants and your needs, make a conscious effort to reduce the wants and focus on the necessities, which can help you save money almost immediately.

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Plan Meals

For many people, it can be extremely tempting to order food or eat out for every meal. However, it’s not always the best choice for your financial future. Instead of trying to figure out what to eat for dinner each night and eventually settling for take-out, consider planning your meals in advance. One of the main reasons people decide not to make food for dinner is because they can’t decide what they want to eat, or they forget to go grocery shopping and don’t have any supplies at home. That’s where meal planning can help. Consider taking one day each week to create a menu for the upcoming week. Once you have the menu planned, you can create a grocery list and buy everything you need to create delicious meals at home while also saving money.

Lower Your Credit Limit

While having a credit card can positively impact your credit score when used responsibly, it can also wreak havoc on your finances if you’re not careful. Credit cards can be extremely convenient, especially in emergencies, but you want to make sure you don’t spend more than you can pay off. With a high credit limit, it can be tempting to keep using your credit card on all of your purchases. While it may seem like a good idea in the beginning, you may feel differently when it comes time to pay your bill. Instead, we recommend lowering your credit limit so that you’re less likely to spend more than you can pay.

Get Help From Brokerage Specialists Today!

The little decisions and changes you make today can greatly impact your financial future. At Brokerage Specialists in Grand Island, we strive to provide our clients with the financial planning services they need to set themselves up for a successful retirement. If you have questions about retirement or you would like to learn more about financial planning and budgeting for your future, give us a call.

We look forward to helping you!