Reduce the stress of managing your finances in three easy steps:
Step 1: Use Your Online Bill Pay Function With Your Bank
Online bill pay is a great tool for your fixed monthly expenses. Set-up an automatic payment from your account weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc. to ensure your bills are always paid on-time. This option allows better control of your account than allowing the funds withdrawn directly from your account.
Step 2: Set-up A Monthly Budget
Document all of your income and expenses into a spreadsheet. Determine how much money you want to spend every month for your car, insurance, utilities, gas, groceries, household items, meals and entertainment, home improvement, clothing, vacation and gifts. Next, set aside a monthly amount for emergency savings, short-term savings, and retirement savings.
Step 3: Design Systems to Maintain Your Budget
There are a few different ways to set-up systems to maintain your budget. You can designate envelopes for each category and divvy money into each envelope. You can also set-up an automatic transfer to other accounts set-up for each category. A combination of both probably works very well. Set-up a system that works best for you and your family.
Most importantly, give yourself some flexibility to modify these steps until you find a system that works for you.