Budgeting is not about catching good deals at stores, but it is about how to save money. Sometimes I think a review on basics can do us good, no matter where our finances are.
I recommend laying out your bills each month up against your income so you can see what extra you have or where you can make cuts to live within your means. Most of my cuts are Sonic drinks. Maybe for you it is Starbucks. Or Target splurges. Be honest with yourself. If you have a credit card, remember that paying the minimum once a month is a good start to hacking away at your debt, but paying more than the minimum ahead of your due date will keep your credit score healthy. Check your credit score for free here. If you have no outstanding debt, a good rule of thumb is to either 1) spend what you can afford to pay back in a month’s time or 2) spend half your credit limit each month. This is not where your money management should end, though. According to a 2017 GoBankingRates survey, 57% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts, and 39% have no savings at all. With medical advancements that are helping us live increasingly longer, retirement savings are important to start. Besides retirement, you should also begin to work at putting together an emergency savings account. Most financial advisors will recommend that this account should hold at least three months’ worth of bills.
If all this sounds daunting, don’t panic. I’ve found an app that will help you with the big three: saving, spending and investing. Qapital has gotten praise from Time, Forbes and other big names for being an app that is worth your investigation. There’s a spending option where you can put a limited amount of money into a debit card that works just as well as keeping your spending money in cash (when it’s gone, it’s gone). Additionally, they have user-friendly investment options that make it easy for beginners. All you have to do is put some money in and watch it grow. If you click here, you can even earn $5 just for signing up. Because of Qapital, my finances are in good order, and I’ve barely lifted a finger. What can a little planning and Qapital do for your finances?