6 Tricks to Prepare Your Budget for Another Year

For those of you who’ve been in the City Girl Savings community for a while, you know just how important I think budgeting is for financial success. I truly believe, in the depths of my soul, that a budget is the number one tool for financial success. If you’re new to the community, you’ll learn! Budgeting is what helped me when I reached my financial rock bottom over a decade ago. Because of budgeting, I’ve been able to start and grow this company.

There’s no doubt that budgeting changes the game, so I want you to get on the budgeting bandwagon ASAP! What better time to start than a new year?! As we get ready to close out our current year and move on to the next one, I’m sharing 6 tricks to help you prepare your budget for another year. Let’s make this next year the most successful budgeting year yet!

6 Tricks to Prepare Your Budget for Another Year

#1 Adjust your income

A new year usually means more money! Whether it’s in the form of a raise or bonus, so make sure your budget factors in any new or additional income for the upcoming year. If you’re not expecting to get a raise or bonus, the next plan of attack is figuring out how to make more money. I think asking for a raise is the easiest next step, but it may not guarantee results.

More money allows you to reach your goals faster. Even if things are working just fine with your budget, you could be missing out on additional wealth-building opportunities by failing to seek out more money. Check out 8 Ways to Make More Money Instantly for some ideas. Don’t forget to adjust your budget tor have a plan for extra money when it comes in!

#2 Reassess your category totals

No one can deny the impact inflation has had on ALL of us over the past few years. While things may have improved, the overall cost of living is higher. That means we need to adjust our budgets accordingly. Take some time to reassess the totals you have allocated to each of your budget categories.

If you track your spending, see if you’re constantly over (or under) budget in your categories. If so, adjust the category amounts for the upcoming year. When helping my client with this, I always recommend we give more than less. It’s better to come in under budget than to constantly come in over budget and feel like you’re overspending.

#3 Add in new categories for any changes to your situation

The older we get, the more our situation changes. It’s just the natural order of things! So, if you’re still using the same budget from 4 years ago, it’s time to give your budget a makeover! Dedicate some time to add in any new categories that might be applicable to your current situation. Also, use this time to remove any categories that no longer make sense for you.

As you add or remove categories, make sure you’re assigning proper category totals. If you’re unsure, go conservative and make changes for future months once you have additional spending data to go off of. Some articles that can help include: 5 Surprising Categories that Should be in Your Budget and 10 Budget Categories You can do Without.

#4 Find a way to factor in your sinking funds

Sinking funds aren’t just a trend – they’re an incredibly helpful part of the budgeting and saving process. Sinking funds are a great way to categorize your savings, have what you need for future expenses, and take the pressure off to pay for everything all at once.

When money is tight, it can feel like you don’t have anything to allocate to sinking funds. However, even if it’s as little as $5 per paycheck going to your sinking funds, it can make a difference. Listen to CGS Podcast Episode #78: Setting the Record Straight on Sinking Funds for some tips and strategies.

#5 Let a professional take a look

Since 2016, for the first 15 days of every year, I always offer 20% off custom budget plans and coaching services. I do this because the new year is the best time to get on track with your money and because I know how important budgeting is, I want to incentivize people to take action!

If your budget hasn’t worked for you in the past or you can’t find a budgeting method that works for you, it’s time to let a professional take a look. Whether that’s me/City Girl Savings or any other finance professional, let an unbiased party see what you’ve got going on with your budget. They may be able to provide insight that you never thought of!

If you don’t have a budget at all and the thought of creating one paralyzes you, have a professional (like me/City Girl Savings) create one for you! The new year is the perfect time to take advantage of 20% off custom budget plan created by me!

#6 Implement a tracking routine

My final trick to help you prepare your budget for another year is to implement a tracking routine ASAP. If you can get a consistent routine in place BEFORE the new year, that will ensure you start the new year off with the habit already formed.

Tracking your spending is the only way to see if you’re sticking to your budget. You could have a manual spreadsheet, a notebook, or use an app. The point is to find a tracking method that works and implement a consistent routine to ensure you’re following your budget and not overspending.

Related: 5 Reasons Everyone Needs a Budget

Whether you’re new to the budgeting party or not, the six tricks above can help you set your next year’s budget up for maximum success! Implement one or all of the tricks to see some major growth in your financial situation come next year!

Do you currently have a budget plan? What has helped you make sure your budget sticks? Drop a comment below to share your tips, experiences, and questions!

-Raya
The CGS Team
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