Best Practices in Setting and Sticking to a Budget

Budgeting for best practices image

The idea of setting a budget makes many people cringe — it involves taking a look at your spending habits, seeing where you’re wasting money, then creating a spending plan. Although none of these tasks are fun, they can pay dividends in a number of ways. After going through the exercise — as painful as it might be — you’re likely to have a better handle on where all your money goes. This can result in more money in your bank account at the end of the month, so the investment in time is worth it.

There is no lack of information on the internet to tell you how to create a budget, but many experts agree on a few key starting points.

First, review what you’ve spent over the last few months. Tracking expenses like your monthly utilities is easiest, but those unplanned expenses, such as replacing the tires on your car, can throw you off. Don’t forget to account for things like birthday gifts and holidays. They may only come around once a year, but they can still throw off your budget.

Second, pay yourself first – which means sock away some savings before you even touch the money. If funds are taken from your paycheck or bank account automatically, before it goes into your pocket, you are more likely to save. And small weekly or biweekly savings can really add up over time.

Third, create an “after savings” budget – which means looking at your income after you have socked away some savings and your expenses to develop a budget that you can live with. To create this “after savings” budget, you may have to reduce those purchases for birthday gifts and holidays or you may have to reduce the amount that you can realistically save. It’s finding the balance between saving and spending that paves the way for financial success. Once you create this balance in your budget, it’s much easier to stick to it. A “balanced budget” will allow you to sock away money for a rainy day, save for a trip or get ready to purchase a home, while also taking care of your everyday needs.

OneUnited Bank has a great tool called Save for Life to help you stick to a savings plan. This savings program sets up automatic withdrawals between your accounts, either OneUnited accounts or an external bank account. It deposits the funds into a savings account. Automatically withdrawing funds means you don’t need to do anything and you’re likely not to miss the money as it builds up in your savings account. A $50 weekly withdrawal will help you save $2,600 in a year and more than $13,000 over five years! Start saving today!

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Our community’s dream is now a reality! OneUnited Bank is fulfilling the hundred year old civil rights dream by garnering the savings power of our communities and channeling it back into urban communities for economic development. With your support by simply opening an FDIC insured account with great rates, we will continue to accomplish this dream everyday!

  • Cafe Kat
    Thank you for this bank, for the information and for the stance you take in the community. I've been talking to folks for decades about collective economics and here you are.... Thanks again.
    June 7, 2016 Reply
  • FeLicia McCoy
    My daughter has been doing research for Black-owned businesses and banks and yours popped up and I was very glad because I have an online savings account that does help me to save. The recent tragic events that have been going on in this nation has caused me to just be fed up with the treatment of my African American brothers and sisters and I'm ready to buckle down and cancel out any and all non Black-owned businesses !!! I plan on doing just like it was done during the Black Wall Street era when our money stayed in our community and I will share all information about all Black-owned businesses on my Facebook page , through conversation with people out in the different communities that I might travel. It's time for African Americans to stand up , make a change and a difference and we can start by not spending our money where we are not liked nor wanted , but will gladly take our money and invest in their communities and put nothing back into the one where the money came from!!!!!!! We can do this we've done it before, the reason why we started Black-owned businesses , schools, colleges and universities, etc., because they didn't want us in theirs !!!!!
    July 10, 2016 Reply
    • ripuree
      Agree. I wonder what percentage of black Churches have caught on to the idea, and if black owned banks are actively and directly target-marketing black Churches?
      October 28, 2016 Reply

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