When it comes to resolving financial issues or achieving specific goals, the solution almost always has to do with budgeting.
Tracking your income and expenses to ensure that you spend less than you earn might seem like a simple concept… yet only one in three American households actually do it. Granted, technology has made it easier than ever to monitor your finances on an informal basis. Still, being able to view your transactions online at any given moment is no substitute for actually creating a budget, setting specific financial goals, and following through with them.
Admittedly, my husband and I have been a little willy-nilly with our budgeting over the past few years. As long as we paid our bills on-time (plus extra towards debt) and still had some money left over at the end of each month, we were generally pretty happy. However, now that we’re trying to squeeze out $2,000+ in student loan payments every month, we need to follow a very strict budget in order to make it happen.
Here are a few things I have learned through this process: