Simplifying the Complicated
At FitFin, we work hard to make things simple. Ironically, making them simple has been at times complicated. But we think it’s well worth it.
With FitFin, your budget doesn’t have to be complicated either. Our philosophy is simple: Everyone has three buckets of money:
1. Take-home pay – this is the money you bring home however often you get paid. This is your after-tax money to live on.
2. Fixed expenses – these are your expenses that consistently stay the same amount each month. Here are examples of what fixed expenses might include:
c. Cable (for the most part)
d. Phone (for the most part)
f. Utilities (for the most part)
These expenses don’t vary much, and if they do vary, make sure to estimate them high when creating a budget to ensure worst-case scenario spending.
3. Variable expenses – these expenses fluctuate month-to-month and are where most people get into trouble. These might include:
b. Dining out
d. Entertainment (i.e. going to the movies)
e. Household expenses (i.e. home repair)
Consider this: You may have a $500.00 monthly grocery allowance, but if you’re not actively tracking it, you may be spending $700.00 and not even know it. That’s an extra $2,400.00 a year!
With FitFin, you can easily create budgets for all of these and any other categories you want to help you stay on top of your finances. Setting up a variable expense budget takes less than thirty seconds and is customizable to fit your needs.
Once your budget is set up based on the three categories above, track your expenses against your take-home pay. Try to have 10-20% of your pay leftover to go towards savings or to pay down debt. If you find it difficult to get to this percentage, do what you can. Two percent is better than zero percent or being in the red. But take a serious look at your expenses and try to find things you can cut back on. You’ll’be surprised at what you can reduce or eliminate altogether.
Be sure to remember expenses that are often forgotten, like gifts (birthday, holidays), travel, vehicle registration fees, and other expenses that may not occur monthly, like vehicle insurance (sometimes every six months), or life insurance (sometimes annual). Brainstorm every possible expense to ensure accurate budgeting.
FitFin has great FREE tools to help you set up your budget. Please visit http://www.FitFin.com to see just how simple we’ve made this historically complicated process. And if you like what we do, please let us know—and feel free to tell your friends and family, too.
Thank you for being a part of the FitFin Nation!