Three steps to budget success


Even when the economy is going well, people often want to know how to "find" more money in their budgets.

Expanding your budget, however, is never as simple as wishing the money into existence. If you want to save money in the long run and build wealth, here are three things you can do to achieve your goals: 

        1.  Take care of what you already have. Don't underestimate the importance of properly maintaining what you already own. One of the best ways to prevent costly breakdowns is to purchase good quality items (even if you pay a little more up front), and then take care of them. Proper car maintenance can save you money in the long run, as can proper care of your home appliances and electronics. Follow care directions on clothes, and try to avoid the dryer (using line drying), and your outfits will last longer.

And, of course, you should take care of your health. Taking care of yourself can be one of the best ways to avoid costly doctor bills and hospital visits.

        2.   Cut your spending. You can also find money by cutting your spending. Look at your financial priorities, and consider what you want to accomplish with your money. If you find that you are spending money on items that are not important to you, change things up. Cut back on the less important things. You can also look for ways to be more efficient.

Whether it's consolidating trips so that your errands use less gas, or adjusting the power usage in your home, you can save money with better efficiency. Consider buying some things in bulk and on sale when it makes sense to help you save money in the long run.

         3.   Earn more money. Finally, if you want to see more money in your budget, you can be proactive about it: Earn more money. You can look for ways to start a side hustle from home and boost your income. Freelancers are in higher demand than ever, and if you can write, design websites, program apps or computers, or provide graphic design services you can do side jobs and even work from home. You can also pick up a few odd jobs around the neighborhood or work part-time. If you are really ambitious and don't mind waiting a few years, you can start building an income portfolio.

Combine All Three Approaches
Your best results will come if you combine all three strategies. When you take the time to put a money plan in place, and take care of your purchases, you will spend less overall. And, of course, you can always make more money -- if you take a look around at what's available to you. With some planning and creativity, you might be able to find more money in your budget each month.

Miranda Marquit

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