Basics of Budgeting with Mutual Savings Credit Union (Part 2)
Note: To help members gear up for 2013, Mutual Savings Credit Union is beginning a 5-part series of web posts that will help you understand the basics of budgeting. All of this information is made available for free thanks to MSCU’s partnership with brass|Media. Be sure to check out Mutual Savings’ BRASS website for additional tips on financial matters.
Creating a budget doesn’t mean you can’t spend money, so don’t stop reading yet. Most people cringe at the word “budget,” but it really can be a comforting tool to ensure your money is in order. Essentially, a budget is a plan for how you will spend your cash. It can help you understand where your money goes–not to mention how to streamline your spending to save a little extra. Part 2 of our series pertains to determining your fixed expenses.
STEP TWO: FIXED EXPENSES
Now that you’ve determined how much income you have to work with, it’s time to figure out your expenses. Start by making a list of all your fixed expenses — bills or payments that are the same amount (or close to it) each month. Don’t forget:
- Loans (education, auto and others)
- Heat, electric, water, and other utilities
- Cable TV and Internet service
- Insurance (health, auto, etc.)
- Gas, fares or other transportation expenses
- Pet expenses
- Credit card payments
Your fixed expenses tell you a lot about how you spend your money. They can be a big indicator for the rest of your budget, and determine how much you have left to spend or save each month.
Be sure to go back and read Part 1!
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