Previous | An estate tax story Next | How do I handle high inflation?
February 18, 2020 / Paulo Oliveira
Four steps to budget like a pro

Four steps to budget like a pro

Budgeting is a vital component of building and maintaining financial stability. For a lot of people though, it can seem like a chore — one too daunting even to try.

man and woman using calculatorBut it doesn’t have to be complicated, and the benefits of creating a budget are worth the added effort. Whatever your financial situation, understanding how to create and use a budget will help you manage your money more effectively and get you closer to achieving your financial goals. 

Here are four things you can do to budget like a pro. 

  1. Calculate your monthly after-tax income.

Add up all your sources of income, including your paycheck and any money received from social security, side gigs, child support, alimony, investment income and so on. This will give you a clear understanding of your financial parameters.

  1. List your expenses.

Figure out how much money you spend each month on bills and other things. It’s helpful to sort expenses into two categories: needs and wants. Needs include things like food, utilities, housing, transportation and other essentials you need in order to work. Typical wants include things you can live without, such as entertainment, presents, dining at restaurants and travel. Every dime should be accounted for.

  1. Abide by the 50/30/20 rule.

The 50/30/20 rule is a popular budgeting strategy. In it, you spend 50 percent of your income on needs, no more than 30 percent on wants, and at least 20 percent on savings and debt repayment. If your needs exceed 50 percent of your income, you will need to use the wants portion of your budget.

  1. Track your progress.

Stay on top of your budget by recording all of your expenses and income. Of course, your income and expenses will change, so adjust accordingly — but always have a budget.

Paulo Oliveira is assistant vice president, Cumberland County and Capital Region retail market manager at F&M Trust

Recent Articles
How do I handle high inflation?
How do I handle high inflation?

How do I handle high inflation?

April 11, 2024 / Megan Brindle

How to spot IRS imposters
How to spot IRS imposters

How to spot IRS imposters

April 04, 2024 / Ray Wills

Stocks and bonds for beginners
Stocks and bonds for beginners

Stocks and bonds for beginners

March 21, 2024 / Warren Hurt

Planning how to pay for your bundle of joy
Planning how to pay for your bundle of joy

Planning how to pay for your bundle of joy

March 18, 2024 / Courtney Shauf

Important changes made to FAFSA
Important changes made to FAFSA

Important changes made to FAFSA

March 07, 2024 / Joel Huffer

Can I have my student loans forgiven?
Can I have my student loans forgiven?

Can I have my student loans forgiven?

March 04, 2024 / Joel Huffer

Tips for using peer-to-peer payment apps
Tips for using peer-to-peer payment apps

Tips for using peer-to-peer payment apps

February 21, 2024 / Matt Sheibley

Consider these things when filing your tax return
Consider these things when filing your tax return

Consider these things when filing your tax return

February 14, 2024 / Alyssa Proctor

Quishing attacks use QR codes to lure victims
Quishing attacks use QR codes to lure victims

Quishing attacks use QR codes to lure victims

February 08, 2024 / Ray Wills

Join our e-newsletter

Sign up for our e-newsletter to get new content each month.

NOTICE: YOU ARE LEAVING F&M TRUST!

You are now leaving the F&M Trust website. Links to third-party sites are provided for your convenience. Such sites are not within our control and may not follow the same privacy, security or accessibility standards as ours. F&M Trust neither endorses nor guarantees offerings of the third-party providers, nor is F&M Trust responsible for the security, content or availability of third-party sites, their partners or advertisers.