Sat | Dec 10, 2016

Better budgeting for 2015

Published:Sunday | December 28, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Cathy Risden, Lifestyle Writer

Do you have being more financially responsible on your New Year's Resolutions list? Have you considered making a yearly financial budget? Don't let the fear of change and the habit of procrastination win you over - create an annual budget for the New Year and stick to it.

A budget enables you to avoid unnecessary spending. Outlook opted to get financial advice from professional financial adviser at the Sagicor Group, Hugh Stone, on how to create an annual budget and sticking to it.

Stone shares some things you need to consider when organising your money needs for the year and sticking to it.

  • Focus on your needs instead of your needs.
  • Saving is very important - you can't budget and not save. This is used as a cushion for unexpected expenses.
  • Separate and know how much your children's expenses are monthly, and avoid getting carried away when they want to do unnecessary spending.

Stone strongly encourages the use of credit cards - so on a monthly basis you will have one deduction from your salary instead of multiple.

Stone said that loans can be good as well as bad, so avoid using a loan to pay a loan - you might attract more expenses.

Budget for emergencies, because they are unpredictable.

The first step in planning for greater success is to find out how much income you need to cover your requirements. Use the form at right to compute your budget for next year, including a monthly, and total annual cost for each, that suits you.

cathy.risden@gleanerjm.com

Monthly Total  Total Monthly  Total Annual

Fixed Expenses

Rent or mortgage expenses ---------- -------- -------

Utilities - gas, heater, light, telephone, water ---------- -------- -------

Homeowners insurance ---------- -------- -------

Car insurance ---------- -------- -------

Federal and state tax ---------- -------- -------

Local taxes ---------- -------- -------

Other ---------- -------- -------

Living expenses

Food ---------- -------- -------

Clothing ---------- -------- -------

Laundry ---------- -------- -------

Entertainment ---------- -------- -------

Car expenses ---------- -------- -------

Medical - doctor, dentist, drugs ---------- -------- -------

Other ---------- -------- -------

Business expenses

Tuition, association dues, services, periodicals ---------- -------- -------

Computer, stationery, postage ---------- -------- -------

Business travel, car expenses ---------- -------- -------

Business entertainment ---------- -------- -------

Other ---------- -------- -------

Saving and accumulation

Life insurance ---------- -------- -------

Savings account ---------- -------- -------

Debt reduction (other than mortgage) ---------- -------- -------

Investments ---------- -------- -------

Slush fund ---------- -------- -------

Other ---------- -------- -------

Miscellaneous

Donations - religious, charitable ---------- -------- -------

Recreation ---------- -------- -------

Club dues ---------- -------- -------

Gifts ---------- -------- -------

Vacation ---------- -------- -------

Medical ---------- -------- -------

A budget enables you to avoid unnecessary spending. Using money wisely becomes easier when you focus and stick to your budget to the 'T'.