Budgeting Basics for Difficult Times
- May 26, 2020
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Here are some practical tips to look at your income and expenses; and make an action plan of your finances.
Take the following steps:
- Make a weekly or monthly budget and stick to it
Plan and Track Spending
- Identify all your expenses
Total your Weekly or Monthly Expenses
- Having more income than expenses, you are meeting your goal
Eliminating your debt faster, you can save more
Create an Emergency Fund
- Prepare for unexpected emergencies by “setting aside” a minimum amount of money each week or month
You can track your finances weekly or monthly by using this template:
You should also identify your wants vs. your needs, and reduce your overall spending. Below are strategies for spending less and getting through tough financial times:
- Control Spending – focus on your needs vs. your wants
- Food – look for sales and specials, and visit food banks as needed
- Utilities and Household Maintenance – look for opportunities to reduce your energy consumption and keep up maintenance. For example, turn off lights when you leave a room, and set your thermostat to keep you home at a moderate temperature
- Transportation and Upkeep – bundle your trips to minimize spending on gas, keep your vehicle maintained to avoid large repair expenses later
- Clothing and Personal Care – allocate a minimum amount of money to spend for clothing and personal care
- Child Care – look for options to rotate childcare duties with a group of friends, which can lower everyone’s expenses
The above strategies for spending less can be found in the following web resource with greater detail: http://www.toughtimes.illinois.edu/
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Thank you, and we hope that you stay safe and healthy!