4 Things to Know if You’ve Never Budgeted Before
BY COURTNEY JESPERSEN
We’ve entered a new year and a new decade. Not surprisingly, this fresh start has probably brought new goals to mind — like money management. If you’re planning to start balancing your income and spending, here are four things to keep in mind before you dive headfirst into budgeting in 2020.
BUDGETS AREN’T JUST A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION
If budgeting is one of your New Year’s resolutions, maybe it’s time to think about it differently. “My personal opinion is forget New Year’s resolutions,” says David G. Metzger, certified financial planner and the founder of Onyx Wealth Management in Chicago. “They never work.” Budgeting is more than just a January whim, so don’t view it as such. Before you begin, be honest with yourself about if you’re ready to make changes that extend into the foreseeable future.
YOU’LL NEED A SUPPORT SYSTEM
Know that you don’t have to do it alone. Tools like budget apps can help track your spending, while people in your life can hold you accountable along the way. “An accountability partner or budget buddy can really be helpful when your motivation is waning about the end of February,” says Colleen Weber, a CPA and certified financial planner in Chanhassen, Minnesota. If you’re part of a couple, devote 20 minutes each week to talking about money together, she says. Look back at your recent money decisions, anticipate major expenses coming up and get
on the same page about strategies to reduce spending in the week ahead. Even if you’re not part of a couple, potential encouragement is everywhere.
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