So I made a complete budget for 2013. This budget shows categories for all my expenses, including savings. Some months the saving category is pretty small, but the point is to always try to put something away for savings. Every little bit adds up. We cut back on the monthly amount for entertainment or clothes and sometimes even groceries (those months just get the bare essentials for meals, kids’ lunches, and snacks) sometimes in order to make sure we put something into savings. Most months I’m putting about $50 into savings. You have to start putting aside some savings. Think of it as an emergency fund. Your car needs brakes, your fridge dies, or whatever the emergency may be… if you have something set aside, the pain of the unexpected event won’t be as devestating.
First we start with the following:
rent/mortgage electric company gas company food (try to get this wone as low as you can) loans perscriptions gas
Then select an amount for savings that you can live with. It doesn’t have to be big. I’d try for a minimum or $25 a month or whatever you are comfortable with.
Next, I look at the following to see where I can cut. This may mean making the minimums or slightly over (if you can) or reducing or even cutting out services.
credit cards medical expenses cable tv internet entertainment expenses eating out
In the end, if you can save just $25 per month every month at the end of the first year you will have saved $300 which is a pretty good start for an emergency fund, especially if you have never had one. On months where you have an extra paycheck (2 months in 2013 for me since I’m paid bi-weekly), try to put all of that money into the savings if you can. It all adds up.
Sit down and figure out your budget using the principle of adding to savings each month (no matter how small the amount is). How much will you put into savings in 2013?