Budget Smudget! Create a Spending Plan Instead

Creating a Spending Plan


If you’re not a fan of the word budget, you’re not alone. For some, it conjures up a life of limits and deprivation. You work hard to make a living, and you deserve to treat yourself once in a while, right?

That’s where a spending plan (not a budget!) can help. When you plan ahead, both for needs and wants, you ensure there’s room for everything without building up debt or risking your financial health.

Try these five strategies to spend smarter.

1. Figure your discretionary income.

Add up expenses that don’t change: rent or mortgage, car loan, insurance, electricity and groceries (use an average cost). Subtract this amount from your monthly take-home pay. What’s left is your discretionary income – money to use at your discretion.

2. Look to the future. 

Do you want to take a vacation this year? Buy new furniture? Pay off your student loans? Having big goals in mind will give you motivation to ...

3. Pay yourself first. 

Financial experts recommend “spending” on yourself right away by putting money into your savings account with each paycheck. An automatic savings account like CU Thrive makes saving painless and rewarding. Learn more at Your Way Checking.

4. List your needs and wants. 

If your car is due for an oil change and it’s your child’s birthday, those expenses likely need to come ahead of other purchases. Spend wisely each month and try to avoid reaching for a credit card unless you can pay it off in full the following month.

5. Monitor your spending. 

Part of spending wisely is tracking your expenses. Use your ATM & Check Card for purchases, Online Bill Pay for regular bills, and a peer-to-peer payment app to pay individuals. With one login, you can see all of your transactions.

To learn more about smart money management, download our free budgeting eguide at https://go.hfcu.org/mmp.
12 Tips for a Financially Healthy Family 
Headed to College? Apply for our Scholarship

About Author

Default Author Image
MoneyWisdom Newsletter

Related Posts
Three Tips to Build a Financial Safety Net
Three Tips to Build a Financial Safety Net
Traveling this summer? 9 credit card tips to know
Traveling this summer? 9 credit card tips to know
How to Crush Lifestyle Creep
How to Crush Lifestyle Creep


Subscribe To Blog

Subscribe to Email Updates