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Guide to successful budgeting

Learn how to budget — painlessly and successfully

Budgeting doesn’t have to be an ugly word. Check out some tips on pain-free budgeting to become the master at managing your finances.

  • What is a budget?
  • Why budget?
  • How to create a budget
  • Setting financial goals
  • Budgeting tips

Download our ebook (PDF)

Budgeting basics

A budget is your most powerful tool for managing your spending habits. With a budget you can see how much money you have coming in and what monthly expenses are going out.

It gives you an overall financial picture that you can measure against your financial goals, and helps you know what you can afford to put away for retirement, emergency funds, or to save for the trip or boat that may feel out of reach.

Seeing your financial picture will give you the confidence to make positive decisions toward meeting your goals, and make it easy to see where you can make adjustments.

6 reasons to have a budget

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Focus on your goals

Most anything is within reach with the right goals and a realistic timeline. Your budget is where you align your finances to your goals.
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Know where you are at

Know how you are doing in relation to your goals, so you can make tweaks to your budget to keep on track, or even reach your goals sooner.
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Control your spending

Figuring out your needs versus your wants might be a battle, but it can be won. Seeing your savings grow makes it all worthwhile.
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Build a nest egg

The greatest benefit of a budget is helping you to save for the future. Creating a retirement fund will prepare you to enjoy life after work.
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Be prepared for anything

Part of a good budget is tucking away extra funds for those one-off emergencies. Life is unpredictable. Setting aside funds simply makes sense.
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Learn good habits

There are many benefits of budgeting. One you’ll notice right away is being able to recognize the habits that don’t serve you—so you can cut them out.

Get started with setting up a budget

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Establish your goals

Budget planning begins with goals for the upcoming year and beyond. Establish what your hopes and ambitions are and when you want to reach them.
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Examine your finances

There is no point setting unrealistically tight spending limits. Examine your household income and spending monthly and annually. How much and what type of debt do you have?
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Create a monthly budget

Make a monthly budget broken into categories covering a 12 month period, including all expenses and how much you expect to spend in each month.
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Align with your goals

Connect your budget to your overall financial spending and how much you expect to have at the end. How long will it take to meet your financial goals with these leftover funds.
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Log your spending

Track your purchases each month in their categories and total them at month-end. Match these totals to your original estimates.
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Review and revise

Measure your performance each month to your budget targets. Review your budget half way through the year and make any necessary changes.
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Download your complete guide to budgeting

Get more tips and techniques for successful budgeting with our guide.

  • Creating your budget
  • Making budget entries
  • Using your budget in your financial planning

Download our ebook (PDF)

Learn more about getting your finances in shape

Retirement

Planning for your retirement

Setting yourself up for a comfortable retirement tomorrow is within reach by making some easy changes to your budget today.

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Home ownership

Buying your first home

A step by step guide to help take the stress out of life's biggest purchase and get you into your very first home.

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Borrowing

Getting started with borrowing

Know some of the main borrowing options so you can make the right choice to match your needs and budget.

Read more

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