Alicia Nelson-Bell, personal finance intern
When you think of budgeting, what thoughts, feelings or experiences come to your mind? Have you had positive, successful experiences with budgeting or have you had negative and restricting experiences with budgeting? Do you think of budgeting as something that can be fun or as something that takes a lot of time, effort and restricts you from being able to do the things you want in your life? Have you had any experiences in your life where you felt that better money management and planning would have helped you avoid that unfavorable situation? Do you believe that budgeting can be fun?
Jerevie Canlas, Ph.D., CFLE
Whenever we teach a budgeting class, we always emphasize that there are five pieces to every budget. Every budget should have the following elements: Income, Expenses, Expense Limits, Tracking/Monitoring, and Review and Evaluate. When people budget, the first four elements are relatively straight forward. The last element, however, might be what makes or breaks your budgeting strategy.
Amanda Christensen, AFC
Utah Money Moms Editor; Extension Associate Professor
Well ladies, married or single, graduated or just starting your education, working your first job or years in to your career, it’s never too early or too late to start budgeting. Even if you’re already a ‘budget queen extraordinaire’, below are three common budget missteps to avoid.
Melanie Jewkes, M.S.
USU Extension Associate Professor
Now that the holidays are behind us, you may or may not be a little anxious to peek at your bank or credit card statements. No surprise when Americans purchase about $1,000 worth of holiday joys on credit. But now might be the perfect time of year to make a better plan for next year. There is a better way!
My favorite budgeting magic trick is to avoid using debt or credit, especially for small purchases but also for larger ones, buy paying yourself first. Maybe you’ve heard that phrase before “Pay yourself first.” This is a seemingly simple principle to encourage use of cash instead of borrowing.
In other words-- save money and avoid debt so that instead of paying somebody to use their money (i.e. money you have to pay on interest and late fees or even loan origination fees), you “pay” yourself by putting that money into savings. In some instances you earn money on interest (though, admittedly, the interest rates right now on bank accounts is minimal) or at least avoid paying more than the cost of whatever the item was you charged. Pay Yourself First also applies to long-term savings for things like retirement, but for now we’re talking about “small” purchases that can sometimes irritate, if not wreak havoc, on our monthly budgets.
Let’s talk more about the real, life-changing application of this principle and how to apply it.
By KristiLyn Wilkinson, M.S.
USU Extension Empowering Financial Wellness Program Manager
I don’t know about you, but I am not sad about leaving 2020 in the past. If anything, I am more committed to doing what is in my control to make 2021 a better year for me and my family. You might not be a fan of setting new year resolutions. Maybe setting goals in January seems like an arbitrary unimportant date to you and you set goals whenever you feel like it. Maybe you don’t believe in setting goals because they feel restrictive. Maybe you have had your new year resolutions mapped out since last October. No matter where you fall on this spectrum, I would highly suggest that you set some financial goals…at some point in your life…preferably right now. Why? I will tell you, but first, grab a blanket (it’s freezing here in Utah) and settle in. We are about to get touchy-feely.
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