The First Pillar of Financial Health: Spend
SLFCU’s financial fitness partner, BALANCE, is offering a free online toolkit that explains how spending, saving, borrowing, and planning work together to create your financial health.
The first pillar of financial health is paying attention to how you’re spending your money. Creating a budget to track your spending helps prioritize your needs vs. your wants, and can improve your spending habits. Below are a few steps you can take to get started:
- Pay attention to your income. Figure out how much money you receive each month to know how much you have to spend. If you have multiple streams of income, consolidate everything into a single amount to start creating your budget.
- Track your monthly expenses. Write down your recurring monthly costs, beginning with those that are most vital to your day-to-day living. These can include your utility bills, car payments, or how much you spend on groceries. After you pinpoint your most needed expenses, begin factoring in your other spending categories, such as monthly subscription fees, money spent on travel, or gifts.
- Decide where you want your money to go. After you subtract your needed expenses, you can allocate the rest of your money to the other categories of spending that you have – so long as they do not exceed your total monthly income.
SLFCU’s online banking budgeting widget can help you track your spending. Log in to your online banking account via a computer or laptop, click on “More…” to view additional widgets, then select “Budgets” to get started. There, you can add a name for your budget, select the account on which you want to tie your budget, and add your income and expense categories and amounts.
What you do today to manage your money can greatly impact your overall financial wellbeing now and into the future. Visit slfcu.org/BALANCE to learn more about their Steps to Financial Health toolkit to help increase your financial resilience in difficult times while also preparing to take advantage of new opportunities.
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