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Man's hand putting money in piggy-bank, next to the pen and calculator. Money saving and family budget concept
The modern era has created so much to offer. Technological developments bring newer, better concepts. Society determines the success of a person by their ability to spend less than they can earn. By doing so, a person has stability and confidence that is effective in handling emergencies. They are also in a better position to assist others. 

Stress-free budgeting won’t exempt you from life’s challenges. However, it will allow you to better care for yourself and family which provides stability and ease. Saving money is, by far, the smartest thing you can ever do. Making effective, habitual changes enables anyone to enjoy a higher level of economic independence. It is hard to achieve, but not impossible. 

Stress-free budgeting requires an understanding of seven concepts that must be understood in order to tackle one of the most common reasons for financial turmoil… extravagant spending. Below are 7 valuable tips for better money management, leading to a life with less stress and more financial freedom. 


7 Tips For Effective And Stress-Free Budgeting

  1. Set a Target

Before making a change, one needs to realize and accept the fact that there is a problem. Only then will you be able to tackle issues without further aggravating a delicate situation. The aim should be to create a budget that is reflective of your essential needs. It will also give you a better picture of what you need over a specific period of time and, with effective disclosure, shed light on where it went wrong.

 

  1. Weekly Observation Of Spending Habits

This can tell you a lot about what is happening to your money. Observing weekly transactions will reveal much about small purchases that add up to a good amount.  Those small amounts weigh heavily when it is totaled up in your budget at the end of the week. We recommend observing your spending habits so that real-time information and facts are laid out for self-realization.

  1. Estimate Your Expected Earnings And Expenses

This estimation gives you an idea of what is coming in and what is going out. For example, mortgage, tuition, utilities, credit card bills and any other expense should be allocated.  These should all be listed which will enable you to make it as effective as possible. Mandatory expenses need to be taken care of first as these are critical categories in stress-free budgeting. Items such as clothing, gadgets, equipment, and entertainment can create stressful situations. These discretionary expenses identified, along with how you are earning, so that you can determine whether or not your are overspending in these categories. This will be very effective in giving you a clear picture.

  1. Plastic or Cash?

Paying cash for transactions is the easiest way to get lost with your budget. Using credit or debit cards allows you to easily monitor your expenses because all of the payments are billed and recorded.  Paying with a card is going to greatly help your stress-free budgeting by showing you how and where you spend your money. Also, using credit cards has benefits and rewards, which is another perk if you are careful. If you prefer not to use credit, debit cards are effective and an equally suitable alternative. 

  1. Save, Save, Save

That’s the motto in the world of personal budgeting. This is also our goal and should be focused on excessively. With a budget, you can precisely comprehend how much you have earned and how much you need to spend and save. We highly recommend that you start saving money immediately during the course of your stress-free budgeting and then spend the remainder by allocating money to your respective categories that are mandatory. Using this effective method, you won’t be able to overspend and can enforce saving. You should be putting money into your savings before using any money on luxury expenses.

  1. 50/20/30 Scheme

Senator Elizabeth Warren, in her book “All Your Worth”, promoted this method. It is quite beneficial due to its straightforwardness. According to this plan, 50% of all income is allocated to requirements, 20% is reserved for savings and 30% is allotted to lifestyle preferences. Facing difficulty? Trying this simple plan is duly advised.

  1. Use Schedules And Other Relevant Tools

The beauty of stress-free budgeting these days is the vast amount of of tools that are available to assist you in everyday expenditures. Also, there is no single tool that universally works for everyone. Due to each individual’s situation, it varies vastly. For some, scheduling and daily monitoring are sufficient, while others may require a range of budgeting applications connected to personal bank accounts that utilize smart technology.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

Focused young couple checking analyzing utilities bills sitting together at kitchen table, serious husband and wife reading bank loan documents with laptop, family managing finances planning expenses

To Save your Marriage, Plan Wisely

Due to poor money management skills, many couples today can’t seem to survive. They often find themselves in severe agony and stark anguish when they fail to maintain a healthy financial life cycle. This further creates a lot of financial problems which may even lead to divorce. However, when you pledge yourself in marriage, you need to consider the needs of your spouse along with your own to keep the right balance. Proper planning and budgeting will allow you to save your marriage and live happily with your spouse. This indicates that financial stability and security is the backbone of every successful marriage. Couples who believe in budgeting and learn to compromise on their desires save a lot for their future and have a healthy long-term relationship.

Household Budgets can Save Marriages

Once you return from your honeymoon, it’s time to plan and play sensibly and get settled into the routine of a married life. The first thing that you should do is make a household budget right from the beginning to avoid falling into a financial crunch. The life you spent when you were single and the life you are going to spend with your spouse is going to be completely different. Now, you have to take the responsibility of spouse and bear the burden of household expenses, especially if you are the only one working. Yes, be ready for some surprise elements like your house’s wear and tear, birthday celebrations, anniversary gifts, and much more. You should be mentally ready to cater to those. For which, you must plan to have money in your savings account.

Budgets can certainly save marriages! A solid household budget will eventually lead you to make optimal use of your disposable income. By keeping monthly expenses of all nature within the budget, you can expect to save a lot of money for hard times and accumulate a significant wealth at the end of your working life. Living as a couple has its challenges and sticking to your monthly budget is surely one of them. According to studies, the number one reason for experiencing stress in any relationship is money-issues which is even responsible for 24% of all divorces and breakups.

Understand Your Spouse’s Mindset

However, bearing all household financial burdens becomes a lot easier if you and your spouse are both employed and ready to contribute to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For ideal budgeting as a couple, you must list all sources of income you and your spouse receive that include your paychecks, rental income, investment income, additional income from bonds, etc. and be transparent about it, perhaps by creating a joint bank account. Therefore, you need to understand your partner’s mindset–whether or not he/she is willing to contribute to a healthy cause. Budgets save marriages but it all depends on the mentality of your significant other and you, whether you both want a stable and healthy relationship or not.

Set Short and Long-Term Financial Goals

If you expect to have a long-term relationship, you need to think and excel as a team. For which, you must set financial goals together. There is no denying the fact that men and women think about money differently, which means they bear different perspectives about money. Commonly, men try to save as much as they can in their working life to have a financially secure and stable post-retirement life. However, women usually feel the need to provide ample supplies to their kids and meet their needs to the fullest during the present. Therefore, both can work together to build a constructive environment for their families.

A Strategic Balance Is Critically Important

Budgets certainly save marriages because they help you to determine your household needs and set rightful household priorities. Couples desire to create the right strategic balance but too often fall prey to unusual spending patterns which lead to them to face financial difficulties. Managing your finances well is one of the first step towards a healthy marriage. Those who believe in bookkeeping and recording their financial transactions properly can track their spending and cut it in areas where they can get by without it.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Close-up Of A Businessperson's Hand Giving Cheque To Colleague At Workplace
Manage your debt, budget your recreational appetite, pay unescapable bills, credit at least 20% money into your savings account, contribute a tiny portion of income right from the beginning in your retirement or 401k account. 

There is nothing more thrilling and exciting than getting your first paycheck from your first ‘real job’ after school, college or university. Over the course of your first month on the job, you have probably thought of spending your first paycheck in a million different ways already. Well, that’s what everyone does and it’s pretty normal. However, creating a budget or financial plan right from the beginning saves you from financial miseries and crises in the future and allows you to know the worth of your hard-earned money.

Money Management and Millennials

Money management is no easy feat, especially when you are new to managing your money-related tasks. It is a foreign concept to most millennials. According to a survey conducted that included 5500 millennials, only 30% of people credit and contribute money from their first paycheck into their savings and 401k account. By making an analysis from the scale of percentage, the survey indicates that millennials either lack the financial wisdom to save money for hard times or they don’t even believe in saving money at all.

Make A Financial Budget

Trust us. The motivation to save money develops right from the beginning and the little that you do contribute to your savings and retirement accounts each month accumulates to a significant wealth at the end of your working years. Your first paycheck is like a cheery on the top of a pineapple cake. If you eat it before cutting the cake, the charm and excitement level of blowing the candles and cutting the cake will vanish.

This indicates that you must budget every paycheck properly and develop a habit of saving money right from the beginning in order to meet financial emergencies and save yourself from mental traumas relating to money. Monthly budgeting and bookkeeping give you a clear snapshot of your salary and helps you know where your money is actually going.

Here is what you should do with your every paycheck.

Pay Off Debt

You may not know how to manage your money properly, but you have to learn the art of money management or you may find yourself stuck miserably amid severe financial problems. To keep your financial equation balanced, you must always pay off your debt first before allocating and spending money on other things–no matter if it’s your first paycheck or your tenth! The debts like student loan debt, auto loan debt, and credit card debt must be wisely paid off first or high-interest rates can cripple your long-term financial standing which will ultimately make it extremely difficult for you to move ahead in your career. In short, paying off debt should be priority #1 and no one argues that!

Create A Savings Account Or Emergency Fund

Building an emergency fund and creating a savings account is ideal for you to kick-start your saving career. This will help you meet financial emergencies and encourage you to spend less and save more. Since life is horribly unpredictable, you must have a backup plan and resources to meet financial problems that may ascend at any moment. Keep working, save more, hope for the best, and plan for the worst! According to the 50-30-20 rule, you must save at least 20% of your income for hard times. Crediting a fixed portion of your income from every paycheck gets you more financially secured and stable. If you start saving from your first paycheck, it will be a big plus for you in the long run.  

Contribute Money to Your 401k or IRA Account

According to studies, those who regularly contribute money into their retirement fund, 401k, or IRA account, stay happier throughout their lives and spend a relaxing life knowing their future is secured and well protected. In order to accumulate a significant wealth to enjoy your post-working or retirement life, you must start contributing to your retirement account right from your first paycheck.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

 

 

Group of young business people have meeting in office. New plan discussing. Four persons. Intentional lens flares
Setting budgets, saving money, and regularly contributing a tiny portion of income to your retirement account can not just help you meet your financial emergencies but also allows you to secure a safe and healthy post-retirement life. It is true that saving money on a regular-basis is a tough job for most millennials as they lack money-management and budgeting awareness. Creating an ideal budget for the month is not an alien job, all that you need to do is to stick to the devised budget the way you have planned or intended it to be.

Money-related issues can cause you a great deal of stress, especially when you have to support your entire family with many mouths to feed. To stay on top of your budget, you first need to have a well thought out brainstorming session for sorting things out like your monthly income, monthly expenses, anticipated saving benchmark and other similar things. Budgeting doesn’t have to be that hard. It all depends on the motivation level of a person; whether or not they truly want to save money for hard times. Setting your monthly saving targets can help you save a significant portion of your money which could further be invested somewhere useful or help in financial emergencies and difficulties.

Look At the Bigger Picture

For ideal budgeting, you need to learn the art of the game first for staying on top of your cash flow. Millennials who are already exposed to various ways of spending money now need to plan sensibly and make a budget wisely or else, they will never be able to save money at all. It doesn’t matter what tool or technique you consider to use for ideal budgeting, as long as you know the significance of making a budget—you are never in the ruins.

Let’s suppose you are using a budget spreadsheet. You will have a better understanding of your finances and where your money is going each month. Also, you will feel more in control of your finances which will ultimately get you one step closer to meeting your financial goals. According to studies, most millennials face financial traumas early in their professional careers because they fail to manage their finances properly. A lack of money-management skills begins with lack of planning and motivation to save money for meeting financial problems. Those who regularly contribute to their retirement, 401k, or IRA account can enjoy their post-working life more than anyone else because they will have the financial security and safety to make the most out of it.

Create a Budget

Creating a budget plan for the month allows you to live comfortably within your means. You need to precisely know your current financial status and how much you can afford to spend in a month. For that, you need to set both short and long-term goals for creating the right plan for ideal saving and budgeting. This indicates that planning and budget forecasting is critically important for creating a successful budgeting plan. According to research, those who have the habit of saving can have a healthy, more stable, and secure future.

Stick With Your Budget Strategy

Once you have a clear picture of the ins and outs of your cash flow, you need to refine your budget strategy. Tightening and cutting your extra expenses will help you save more which means that sticking with your budgeting strategy and plan is ideal in every sense. First things first, always pay your debt. After that, you need to set your priorities. There are certain unavoidable expenses like utility and household bills which cannot be avoided and that cannot be controlled. However, you can cut back on grocery and shopping bills by limiting your spending habits.

Get Help from a Budgeting Expert

If you are not good at numbers or setting up a proper budget, you can hire the professional services of budgeting experts or planners. From bookkeeping and inspection to planning, they will have the creative vision to provide you a workable monthly budgeting plan.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts
 Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Look at this. Happy loving couple is using laptop at home. Girl is pointing finger at screen and smiling
The decisions we make on a day to day basis can have serious impacts, good and bad, on our marital life. Financial disagreements can harm your relationship and ruin the beautiful bond that you share as a married couple. According to a recent study, the leading cause of divorce has been identified as financial disagreements. While it is impossible to expect two parties to agree with each other all the time, it is crucial for married couples to realize that harmony and peace can be maintained, even during disagreements. Marital harmony can only be achieved when the two people make stable decisions and work together to improve their current circumstances. 

If money has been the leading cause of arguments between you and your loved one, it is time to fix this issue once and for all. Start by creating an appropriate budget, as it will help you avoid countless money related issues in the long run. You need to think and plan strategically, as money issues can soon turn into emotional issues that have the potential to ruin your marriage for good.

1. Define Clear Goals and Share the Same Vision

The first step towards achieving martial harmony is to define clear goals that both partners can communicate with each other. Sharing the same goals for the future will allow you to set your priorities straight and begin saving to achieve those targets that you have in mind. The real path to fulfillment lies in sharing a similar vision for a prosperous future. Therefore, you need to align your views, beliefs, and values to work towards a common purpose. Without a proper vision in place, how do you even expect to follow a common path?

Not having a proper vision in place leads you to a state where you want ‘more’ of everything, which keeps you from feeling content. You cannot expect to build a harmonious relationship together if you do not feel at peace. Following a common goal or purpose will give you the clarity that you need to make appropriate financial decisions.

2. Create an Appropriate Budget and Stick to it

Seeing the way financial issues have affected marital relationships, there is absolutely no doubt in the fact that budgeting is a key to marital harmony. Just like bookkeeping, budgeting can now also be done online. Even if you don’t know the specifics of budgeting, there are various apps and tools available online that you can use to form an accurate budget which is easy to follow. Here is a list of all of the top budgeting apps of the year:

  • Mint
  • PocketGuard
  • You Need a Budget (YNAB)
  • Good Budget
  • Mvelopes
  • Home Budget
  • Wally
  • Level Money
  • Spendee

Budgeting will allow you to identify the areas where you are spending excessively, enabling you to limit those unnecessary expenses. It enables you to form the right habits that will benefit you in the long run. Once you have formed a unified vision and share common goals, it will be easier for you to work in coherence with your partner and cultivate better spending habits to accommodate that vision. Moreover, you will be able to hold yourself accountable for your spending and will make conscious purchasing decisions.

3. Learn to Live Within Your Means

No matter how practical your strategy is, it will remain ineffective if you do not learn to live within your means. Your primary goal should be to plan your financial management strategy according to your means. Going overboard or reckless spending is only going to harm you in the long run. Therefore, you need to allocate your finances in a better manner and adopt a balanced approach if you want to achieve marital harmony. Both parties need to stick to the budget and refrain from over-spending or spending on useless things. If either person is spending recklessly, you need to sit down and discuss the issue to find an appropriate solution. It might not be an easy topic to tackle, but it will benefit your relationship in the long run.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

Beautiful woman using phone in the subway of New York.
Are you struggling to get your finances in order? Is a pencil and paper drafted budget or that endless spreadsheet just too time consuming to manage? If any of these describe your situation, you do not have to worry anymore! Fortunately, there are plenty of budgeting and bookkeeping apps that allow you to easily track your spending, save money, and pay your household bills simply by using your phone and tablet, especially when you are habitual at checking your phone many times a day.

In fact, managing your money, sticking to your budget plans, and even making investment decisions are far easier with today’s smart personal finance apps. However, every tool out there is neither suitable to your needs nor worth downloading and learning to use. That is why we have come up with our favorite 5 essential apps that will help you to monitor your spending habits, save money, and pay your household bills on the spot and on the go.

1. Mint: Best Way to Manage Your Finances

Mint is among the most essential apps for personal finance to help you effortlessly manage your money simply in one place. In fact, it is an effective all-in-one tool for budgeting, tracking your spending and household bills, and getting smarter with your money. In addition to your monthly bills, it allows you to connect all of your bank and credit card accounts easily. Thus, with all of your finances conveniently in one place, you get rid of the hassle of logging into multiple sites.

With Mint, you can create budgets seamlessly, get suggestions based on your spending, schedule payments on the go, get reminders, get specific advice to get control over your money and budget, and eventually improve your financial outlook. The free credit store is another advantage.  This truly is an all in one package deal.

2. Wally: Seamlessly Track Your Money 

Just like being organized with your workplace expenses reports, if you want to stay updated with your personal expense tracking as well, then Wally is a great choice and free essential app in this regard. Simply take a picture of your receipts with Wally rather than manually logging your expenses. This app also saves your time by filling in data when you use geo-location on your smart device. This neat, streamlined app is immensely convenient to use, especially to gain better insight into where your dollars are going.

3. Digit: Automate Your Savings

If you are looking for ways to automate your savings, then Digit is one of the most essential apps to make saving your inherent habit. When you connect it to one of your bank accounts, the app analyzes your income and spending patterns. Based on that pattern, the app then puts aside a certain portion of your funds in an FDIC-insured bank account for spending purposes that you can access and take out money from conveniently at any time. Communicating with Digit is simple and fun: simply open the app or text the bot to know how you are doing. Thus, making it super easy to set up different savings goals. In addition, you earn Digit savings 1%-annually, paid-out every quarter and backed by a no-overdraft guarantee. You receive a text every morning telling you to check your account balance, which is another great feature. Surprisingly, it offers a 100-day free trial for both iOS and Android users.

4. Credit Karma: Improve Your Creditworthiness

If you are seeking ways to raise your credit score, then Credit Karma is one of the most essential apps and an indispensable smart tool to achieve your goal. Not only does it update you with your Equifax® and TransUnion® credit scores, but it also gives you insightful recommendations to boost your creditworthiness. It can provide you complete a TransUnion credit report in-app upon request that you can use to view (and dispute) disparaging signs on your account and you can view a comprehensive breakdown of your credit usage. Fortunately, this is also free. Credit Karma does share your personal information with Equifax and Transunion.

5. Clarity Money: Monitor Your Credit Score and Cancel Subscriptions

Credit Money is another one of the most essential apps you can use to track your credit accounts that is especially important in consideration of the recent Equifax breach. This nicely designed budgeting tool ensures an easier execution of your routine financial tasks. In addition, it also allows you to set up automated savings for certain goals.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

 

 

Calender close up with a pay day marked with red pen.
The first thing we encourage you to do is deposit or credit at least 20% of every paycheck into your savings account and 3% into your retirement, IRA, or 401k account
.

People across the globe find it extremely difficult to manage their finances and money related matters. Not everyone is privileged enough to spend their lives without having to worry about financial stress and traumas in life. According to a study, a whopping 78% of people around the globe live their lives on a monthly paycheck to paycheck basis. This indicates that people have to limit their spending and save more in order to survive hard times. However, spending patterns of people, especially Americans, have changed significantly over the past decade or so due to numerous reasons. The top reasons include increased exposure and impact of social media on our lives.

Getting the Financial Equation Right

No matter how much one may argue, the financial equation of managing finances is certainly not in favor of most American households. They have been fighting against all the odds to manage their monthly paychecks but, still, haven’t succeeded to come up with a clear-cut strategy or game plan which will ensure ideal management and budgeting of every paycheck. There are a myriad of reasons why most Americans have been stuck miserably in severe financial crises and debts.

Here is the situation: once you get paid, your paycheck has to go several places at once. There are certain unavoidable expenses like rent, groceries, debt repayment, and utility bills which needs to be paid. They eat up a significant chunk of your every paycheck. The remaining, perhaps, goes into buying non-essentials. This paycheck schedule continues to go on-and-on, restricting you to save money for hard times, especially your life in retirement.

Setting the Right Priorities

Undoubtedly, saving a portion of money from your every paycheck is no easy feat. When you have so many financial situations and concerns to address, it seems nearly impossible to save money for meeting financial emergencies. So, you need to set priorities, make a realistic judgment and devise sound game plans to save money in your working years or else you may, unfortunately, find yourself in some miserable old predicament once you retire from the office. Saving money may be hard for individuals or families, but it’s certainly not an impossible task. There are ways in which it can be done.

Budgeting and Planning – Done Right

You may be good at your job and in earning money through various ways and means, but that doesn’t mean you have expertise in handling and managing your finances well. For financial help in budgeting, retirement plans, debts, savings, and investment options, it is ideal to acquire the services of a financial planner as they will have the next-level knowledge, skills, expertise, and experience in handling technical financial matters. Also, they may help or guide you in what to do with your every paycheck and how much you should contribute to your retirement savings account.

The First Things You Should Do With Every Paycheck

Contribute To Your 401k

If you expect to have a dreamy retirement one day, you need to make contributions to your 401k, IRA, or both. According to financial experts, those who start contributing to their retirement account in their 30’s have a more secure and stable future since they can worry less about financial fears or distresses. No matter how hard you may find it is to save money on a monthly basis, you should regularly contribute to your 401k or IRA account.

It doesn’t matter whether your employers offer you a retirement plan. If they don’t, you can set up your own retirement account and start contributing to it because it will be yours forever. In order to accumulate more wealth for your post-retirement life, you should start your retirement account as early as your 20’s. Contributing a tiny portion of your every paycheck, let’s say 3% of your income, doesn’t seem to be a burden on your shoulders at such a young age. If others can do it, you can too! It is far better to hire professional financial planners instead of managing money-related things yourself because they have expertise in dealing with such long-term retirement plans.

Credit Money to Your Savings Account

According to a study, a person must have an equivalent of 9 paychecks saved in order to cope with financial emergencies successfully. Financial pressures lead to a great deal of stress, emotional and mental trauma, especially to those who lose their jobs, address financial or medical emergencies, and mismanage their debt repayment schedules… No matter the causes, the repercussions are often too huge to be handled alone.

Experts recommend that you must save for your rainy days because financial problems and dilemmas do not come announced. Per the 50/30/20 rule, you must at least save 20% of your income from every paycheck and credit the proportional amount into your savings account. They also offer interest-growing potential which accumulates to become a hefty amount when you near your retirement age.

Closing Thoughts

Saving money for hard times is no joke, especially in today’s era. Cutting back on your money on almost every paycheck requires motivation and loads of temperament and spirit. It is better to hire the services of professional financial planners for effective management of retirement and saving plans as they have deep-rooted knowledge, skills, expertise, and experience in handling and managing technical money-related tasks.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Person holding in hands totally empty leather wallet - crisis and poverty symbol

What is Personal Budgeting?

Budgeting is not only important for businesses, it has equal importance in an individual’s personal life. Personal budgeting is a method of monitoring and controlling your finances. This helps in monitoring personal finances and managing them accordingly. At times, we are so far away from having a budget that we end up broke within a week of being paid. This does not only leave you stressed out but it even affects your professional life. You either feel like you are not paid enough or there is no use in getting paid as you eventually end up with nothing within a week. Working and being broke leaves a drastically negative impact on an individual’s mind. Hence, it is important for a person to monitor their financial spending, analyze the problematic areas, and design a budget to improvise their financial position.

Assess your Current Financial Position

It becomes frustrating when you know that you are working on a low salary and your expenses carry the weight of a mountain. Low-income budgeting seems hard at an initial level. However, if you start small, you will be able to figure out your budget plan more effectively. 


Categorize Your Expenses

The first and best way to budget is to monitor your current lifestyle. Observe your spending habits and monitor your current financial position. Before making any budget quota, you need to list all of your expenses in the following categories.

Debt

Your long-term expenses are things such as student loans, car loans, unpaid bills, credit card balances and so one. Writing them down will give you a shockingly realistic yet clear picture. Don’t worry, they are not impossible. 

Monthly Bills that are Fixed Expenses

Monthly bills are something that you cannot avoid, they are things that you have to pay. However, listing them gives you a clear snapshot and you can even reduce them to a limited extent. These expenses include: rent, utility bills, cell phone plans, gas, and food bills.

All the Variable Expenses that you can Balance

Variable expenses are all of the leisure or emergency expenses that do not occur every month such as buying new clothes, dining out, buying new gadgets, getting your car fixed, and other fixtures and expenses that can occur at your residence. You cannot simply eliminate all of these expenses, however, you can manage a few of them and even look at which expenses are repeating quite often.

Identify Your Problem Spending Areas

When you are done listing all expenses, you will be better able to pick out the problematic areas that are straying you away from your budget every month. This problem could even highlight the areas that need your immediate attention. For example, if your car is asking your monetary attention every month, that means you need to get your car fixed properly once and for all before it breaks down completely.


Making a Budget

Designing a budget is not difficult, unless you don’t manage your steps carefully. Designing it step by step is very important as it will help you in designing a practical and applicable budget for your personal expenses. 

Step 1: List all of your liabilities and plan your gradual repayment method.

Once you have listed your liabilities, you are required to design your payback method. You should not overburden yourself by paying all of your liabilities together. Going for a crash repayment will leave you dissatisfied and you could end up adding more loads.

Step 2: List all of your necessary expenses.

Step 3: Prioritize your money goals.

Step 4: Cut your unnecessary expenses. Now, this is the most difficult part of it all. You might feel like it is practically impossible to cut down as every bill you are paying is a basic necessity. However, once you have crossed the monitoring step and all of the steps of budgeting, you will be able to clearly figure out the failure in your current spending methods.

Step 5: Be Frugal.


Tips to Create a Budget and Save Money without Going Broke

  • Be realistic
  • Always record every transaction
  • Bookkeeping
  • Control your spending
  • Don’t cut out all the fun
  • Take advantages of all the upcoming opportunities
  • Always keep on updating your budget as once you are done with repaying one of your debts, you might have some free cash to rearrange in order to pay another
  • Always keep emergency funds
  • It is best to plan your remaining cash into percentages


What are the Budgeting Benefits?

  •  You can focus on your desired money goals
  • You will be financially stable and organized within a few months
  • It will give you control over your money
  • You can arrange your expenses and spending
  • You will have extra cash in case of an emergency
  • You will have a clear picture of your personal finance
  • You will be able to improve your bad spending habits

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.


 

 

Grass growing in the shape of an arrow graph, inside a transparent piggy bank, symbolising the care, dedication and investment needed for progress, success and profit in business.
The structural and economic strength of a business is directly related to its financial efficiency. Finance is the fundamental base of any business corporation which tends to establish strong infrastructure, enabling smart operations of a company. Financial management owns intrinsic significance in terms of providing a strong system to a company which is achieved through effective budgeting. The equitable allocation of all resources available to promote the smooth working of all departments in a harmonious manner is known as budgeting.

Budgeting is the strongest part of financial management. It plays a vital role in the strategic planning of a company which ensures appropriate financial and operational activities to be performed efficiently in order to increase profits. As financial management has substantial significance, business owners are advised to hire financial experts who can deal with numerous contemporary techniques used for budgeting efficiently. Among contemporary budgeting techniques, bookkeeping is the most trusted which allows the tracking of all transactions a company has made or plans to make. It makes decision-making and future planning of an organization easier and more credible. Moreover, bookkeeping allows an evaluation of all activities and tasks which have been performed in a company and identifies loop holes to be covered in the future to avoid any serious concerns which could damage the establishment. The following postulates shed light on how budgeting plays a significant role in strategic planning.

  • Formulation of Activities

In order to run a business corporation smoothly and maintain its symmetry, it is necessary to capture the bigger picture of all activities and tasks performed under its flagship. Effective and efficient measures are required to administer all of these undertakings. Budgeting helps in formulating all activities taken place in a company on a single platform and measures how effective and efficient these tasks are performed. Identifying the loop holes present allows entrepreneurs to be careful and vigilant in the future.

  • Drawing of the Goal Map

For a company to achieve its aims, it is necessary to plan them during the initial steps. Here again, budgeting plays an important role in terms of providing monetary stance to the strategic plan drawn by a company, enlisting all of its goals to be accomplished in a particular period of time. Appropriate budgeting enables business owners to draw a goal map which provides all targets of a company and guidelines to hit them. In the case of inappropriate budgeting, a company might face big losses.

  • Makes Decision-Making Credible

In order to gain maximum profits at minimum cost, the opportunity cost of a company is to be reduced. Reduction of opportunity cost demands an eagle’s eye view which can be apprehended through smart budgeting. A close view to all undertakings or tasks held in a company allows financial experts to identify apertures present, ultimately making  future decision-making credible. Entrepreneurs or business owners, after keen observations, will tend to make better decisions when encountering previous mistakes, conclusively achieving their strategic plan in an optimistic manner.

Final Note

Strategic planning is the key component of a business’s success. All targets to be achieved and guidelines to attain them are planned under the flagship of strategic planning, hence, it is to be planned in an intellectual way. Budgeting plays a vital role in achieving this strategic plan as it acts as a strong support in terms of formulating and processing this plan to a successful end.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

Businessman using a digital tablet to discuss information with senior leadership in a meeting. Business partners discussing plans. Mature boss and young business man working together in office.
Have you just entered the entrepreneurship world? If you’re scared of accounting operations (which who isn’t?!), dig right in and learn the most important aspects below. Remember, it’s the accounting operations that continue to cause the revolution of information, which turns the economy of the world up and down. As an entrepreneur, your aim is to have a higher return figure than the figure of the investment/capital used. The reasons that an entrepreneur needs to learn about accounting and finance is explained in the following three points:

1.  Making future predictions for the business

2.  Making effective time, cash, and energy commitments for customer attraction and delivery of efficient goods and services

3.  Measuring and reassessing the progress for a more profitable behavior, reporting positive progress for investors, and changing direction with critical evaluations.


Entrepreneurs that aspire to make a big mark in their field need to grasp the latest tools needed for their accounting operations and finances.  These vital accounting tools allow you to have:

  • A clear demonstration of the results of the company’s activity to time
  • Confidence in the future for bankruptcy prevention
  • Timely submissions of reports to municipal authorities
  • Monitoring all available possessions: material, labor and financial
  • Proper planning for company’s activity

Easy 8 steps to Accounting Basics for Entrepreneurs

1. BEST ACCOUNTING METHOD FOR SMALL BUSINESS

The first thing you need to figure out is your business accounting method for efficient bookkeeping.

There are two methods: cash and accrual. The primary difference lies in the recognition of economic events by a company.

In the accrual accounting method, it matters when money is earned and you record transactions regardless of the fact that your customer hasn’t paid yet. The business must use this method in the case when:

  1. There are sales of more than $5 million a year
  2. There are gross receipts of an inventory of items of $1 million a year
  3. The business is a publicly held corporation

In the cash method, you record transactions as they occur, when the cash changes hands. It is the best and the simplest method for starting with a small business.

2. KNOW WHAT KIND OF RECORDS TO KEEP

You should be well aware of the type of records that you need to keep.

Legal documentation. Trade licenses, permits, sale tax licenses, DBA certificate, or any other documents which are legally significant for company activity. These documents should be stored somewhere safe and be kept accurate and up to date. The location of both online and offline documentation should be known.

Supporting financial documentation:  Source documents are of great worth for a company because all bookkeeping operations are based on them. Supporting financial documents include contracts with counterparts, receipts, payrolls, cash registers cash, and several other documents associated with the business area.

3. PROPER RECORD KEEPING

Transactions, sales, and profits should be maintained properly. Records of outgoing and incoming payment, funds movement, paychecks of employees, liabilities, taxes, overhead expenses, and operating costs should be maintained. Documentation of cash that comes in in the shape of costs for the digit of material, products, and services you sell and when should all be properly kept.

4.   DOCUMENTS MANAGEMENT

All documentation of an entrepreneur should be well organized to reduce mistakes. Bookkeeping should be updated and arranged.  Common rule of thumb is that you can never document “too much”.

5. SEPARATE BUSINESS ACCOUNT

Personal and business accounts must be separate to have a better awareness of business expenses and taxes.  When the two are mixed, it is very hard to discern between what are personal income/expenses and what are business income/expenses.

6. BALANCE SHEET

To determine the financial health of a business, a balance sheet is a must. It provides information of assets, liabilities, and equity.

 

7. SELECT ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE

Every entrepreneur should have accounting operations software to manage more effectively and efficiently. Software for small business are available online and are truly catered to each and every business out there.

8. ACQUIRE PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTING ADVICE

Take support from a professional accountant and bookkeeper for the best bookkeeping practices. They will guide your business to control transactions and recommend changes for better growth. They are also responsible for setting company establishment. For building a better understanding of transactions, a well-oiled bookkeeping system is a must.

CONCLUSION

It is vital for entrepreneurs to have, at least, a basic understanding of the accounting and financial practices of their business.  Whether your bookkeeping is outsourced or done in-house, it is crucial that effective financial management is practiced to ensure the success of your business.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.