It’s a new year, which means it’s time for new resolutions. In 2022, consider investing in yourself. Take time to practice self-care, hang out with friends, and treat yourself to new things, like clothes. After nearly three years of pandemic-driven semi-isolation, it’s time to sport something besides yoga pants!
You’ve probably had your eye on a few new pieces, but you may not have the money to make those purchases. Sound familiar? There is a solution — budgeting. Budgeting isn’t easy, but it’s something most people have to do at some point or another. In this article, we discuss budgeting tips you should use so you can splurge on clothes this year:
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1. Consider Your Problem
Start by taking a look at your spending habits, so you can identify your problem. How much money do you spend in a month? Do you have a habit of overspending on nonessentials? Understanding where your money is going will help you create a budget that works for you.
For example, let’s say you live alone and your grocery bill is over $300 a week. You could likely lower that amount significantly. From finding sales to buying at less-expensive stores, you could create a grocery budget that’s realistic but saves you money. That way, you can allocate that saved money to something else — new clothes, for instance.
2. Choose the Right Bank
Believe it or not, but not every bank is a good fit for every person. Some banks charge hidden fees, which can make budgeting difficult. The last thing you want is for your bank to take your money for monthly account fees. Try looking for a debit card from a bank that does not charge monthly fees or require a minimum account balance.
Speaking of banks, a good way to stay on top of your spending is with a mobile app. These days, a majority of banks offer apps so users can check their account and transfer money regardless of where they are. If you haven’t downloaded your bank’s app, you should consider doing so. But make sure the app you’re downloading is the bank’s official app.
3. Figure Out Your Goal
Here’s the thing about budgeting. It’s difficult to see through, especially if you don’t have a goal in mind. As with many things in life, it’s easier to succeed when something is driving you.
Before you start budgeting, start with your objective. Sure, you want to buy new clothes, but are you talking a couple pairs of new jeans or an entire spring wardrobe? Once you have your goal in mind, how much money do you need to achieve it? Is it $200 a month? $500?
You might not have a specific dollar amount in mind, but you should be able to figure out a range. Identifying your goal is the first step to achieving it.
4. Test Out Different Budgets
There are many different budgeting methods to choose from, based on your spending habits and what works for you. Here are a few of the most popular options:
This budgeting method is probably one of the easiest to follow because it breaks everything down for you. Half of your expenses should go towards your necessities like rent, mortgage payments, insurance, etc. Then 20% of your expenses should be put towards your savings and debt. Your “wants” make up 30% of your spending budget.
The problem with this method is it doesn’t account for debt or people who have to spend more on necessities (like parents). But at the same time, this budget can be adjusted. You could make it the 70/20/10 method or the 20/50/30 method if that works better.
The 60% Method
The 60% method is similar to the 50/30/20 rule as it uses percentages to help you create a budget. With this option, 60% of your income is used for living expenses like your mortgage, car payments, insurance, etc. And while you can include basic clothing within this percentage, it probably shouldn’t include splurge-worthy purchases. But good news, you can use the remaining 40% for your clothing needs.
5. Consider a Budgeting App
The truth is, even with all these tips, budgeting can be difficult. Calculating the amounts, tracking your progress, and staying on track, can be stressful. This is why many people turn to apps to get the work done for them.
Currently, there are many apps available designed to help you budget. Once downloaded, you connect your bank account, credit, and debit cards to the app. It will then automatically download your transactions and categorize them accordingly.
Some apps will recommend a budget for you based on your income and expenses. Some will help you categorize your income, track your progress in real time, and offer helpful tips so you can budget better. Remember that every budgeting app offers something different, so make sure you do your research to find the right one.
From identifying what’s holding you back to finding the budgeting method that works for you, these tips can help you save money. Sticking to a budget makes it easier to control your finances so you can spend money on what you want.