Building Your Budget: Tips for Financial Success

Managing finances can be difficult when you're planning to move into the home of your dreams. Here's some advice on how to budget to set yourself up for success!

Published on
April 19, 2023
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Building Your Budget: Tips for Financial Success


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Often, life’s great stressors boil down to a singular topic: money. Finances can be difficult to manage as you figure out how to set a budget, keep track of bills, implement a savings plan, the list goes on and on. This becomes increasingly more stressful when you’re planning to move into the home of your dreams. Here’s some advice on how to budget to set yourself up for success.

  1. Calculate Your Income

Everything needs a starting point. Gather all of your income sources and figure out your take-home pay, your salary minus any taxes. Knowing when and how much you will get paid will assist in earmarking where your finances will go.

  1. Break Down Your Spending 

Once you have an idea of how much money you have coming in, you will need to figure out where it is going. Categorizing your expenses can help you narrow down where you might be spending too much money and show you opportunities to begin saving.

Calculate your fixed expenses, such as rent or car payments, and your variable expenses that may change from month to month, like groceries or gas. Your variable expenses will give you an idea of areas you might be able to cut back on spending.

  1. Set Financial Goals

Like setting any goal, you will want to have short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals can include paying off debts while long-term goals might be saving for retirement. Goals can fluctuate based on need, but having them in place can be a big motivator for helping you stick to your monthly budget.

  1. Plan Your Paychecks

A very popular budgeting technique is the 50/30/20 rule. This rule divvies up your income into three categories with respective percentages. This technique, for example, recommends putting 50% of your income toward rent, utilities, car payments, or groceries; 30% toward streaming or subscription services, or vacations; and 20% of your income toward an emergency fund, retirement, or credit card payments. This technique is just a jumping-off point for how you might divide spending categories. Feel free to further differentiate and categorize to fit the specifics of your goals and spending habits.

  1. Adjust Accordingly

See how your money management goes for the first few months with this plan. After a while, you may notice that you aren’t saving as much as you’d hoped or that there are some spending discrepancies. You are always able to adjust your budget based on wants and needs. For example, you may feel that you need to go out to eat when, in reality, you can save money by cooking a meal at home. Even small examples of saving, like staying in to eat, can make a huge difference down the line. 

If that’s still not the case for your budget, you might need to make a larger trade-off like seeking out a better rate on your auto insurance or switching phone plans for a better deal. These, like most financial decisions, can be tricky to navigate so be sure to weigh all possible options.

  1. Review Regularly

Set aside time to review your budget yearly, if not monthly. It is important to hold yourself accountable so that you may reach those savings goals! Additionally, it can be necessary to review budgets if you receive a raise or set a new goal for yourself. Each time you need to review, be sure to refer back to this list!


Budgeting 101: How to Start Budgeting for the First Time

Creating a budget

Photo by Karolina Grabowska: