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Getting Your Finances on Track

It's never too late to get your budget in order and set yourself up for financial success. Below are just a few ways to get on track and set yourself up for financial success.

Happy woman in glasses using calculator and laptop to budget.
How Should a Beginner Start a Budget

Start at the beginning—with your bills. Don't stop at big-ticket ones like your rent/mortgage payment and utilities, make sure you go through the transactions in all of your accounts so you can catch things like subscription services you might have forgotten about. Next, add up how much you usually spend on expenses like groceries and gas that you don't necessarily always spend the same amount of money on. You don't have to be exact, but get as close as you can. Then you can decide how much you want to spend on activities like eating out, bowling, and general entertainment and shopping. After that, take a look at what you have left over and set aside something for your savings account each month. Even $10 a month adds up over time!

What is the 50 30 20 Rule and How to Use It

This budgeting rule is a great way to budget if the apps and budgeting systems you've heard about seem overwhelming. Put simply, your after-tax income is broken up into three buckets—50% to needs, 30% to wants, and 20% to long-term savings. Remember that this rule is just a guideline, and you can change your budget to suit your needs and adjust as needed over time.

The 4 Simple Rules for Budgeting for Beginners
  1. List out your bills: Subscription services can sneak up on you, and if you have things on autopay, it can be easy to lose track of exactly what you're paying for. Make a list of everything that's coming out of your account so you can compare your services and add up costs. The WaFd Bank app offers Bubble Budgets to make this task easy. See every transaction across all your accounts, even those with other banks, in categories that make sense for your specific budget.
  2. Look for what you can do without: Is Amazon Prime a necessity? Maybe, maybe not. What streaming services can you take out? If you have more than two or three, that can be just as expensive as paying for cable. If you already have the bare necessities, here are fourteen ways to cut household expenses and save.
  3. Stick to saving: Even if you save just $20 a month, it really adds up over time. After a year, you'll have $240. If you keep it in an account that gives you interest you'll have even more! Remember, your budget isn't set in stone once you create it. You might start making more money, or find ways to save on bills. Your budget will grow right along with you and your lifestyle, but for now, keep track and decide how your money will work for you.
  4. Make changes as needed: Your life isn't set in stone, so your budget should follow suit. Sometimes you might need a bigger budget for entertainment (hello summer concerts) and sometimes you might need more for food and other things, such as during the holiday season.
Want help managing your money?

We're here to help! No question is too small, and with WaFd Bank you also have access to tools and services to help you manage your finances and get the most from your money. Visit us at your neighborhood branch, give us a call at 800-324-9375, or check out what WaFd online banking has to offer.