Piggy bank, coins, and calculator on a tableHave you been on a tight budget for quite some time now? Do you find yourself scratching your head once your monthly bills start to come in? Maybe it’s time to sit down and sort out your finances like you should’ve done years ago.

Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union believes that a monthly spending plan can help you take control of your finances. Here’s a step-by-step process on how to start yours.

Step #1: Determine your total monthly income.

This is the amount minus taxes and any other company deductions you may have. If you have any other sources of income, include them as well. Use averages if monthly amounts vary.

Step #2: List down all your monthly expenses.

Then, subtract it from your income. This would include school tuition fees, groceries, date nights, and even ice cream weekends. You must include anything that you spend every month.

Step #3: Allot for unexpected expenses.

After Step #2, if you still have much left, set aside an amount for any unexpected expense. If you can’t come up with an amount on your own, 10 percent should be a safe amount.

Step #4: Work on your budget.

This is where your saving skills should come in. If you reach this step with a negative amount, go back to Step #2 and see where you can cut down on expenses. Then move on to the next step until you can work with enough money to continue.

Step #5 Invest.

No matter what amount you come up with by this point, you must still invest in yourself. The savings you set aside every month can be your lifesaver, your future, or your next business investment.

No two months are the same. Make sure you’re ready for any changes and adjustments your finances will need like emergency dental or medical appointments. It’ll only take you half an hour to come up with your monthly spending plan. Take control of your finances today, before it takes control of you.

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