Advance America: How to Budget for Financial Needs and Wants

Budgeting is a skill that requires practice and patience. But you can implement budgeting into your daily life more easily by figuring out how to plan for financial necessities and non-essential spending properly. Once you understand how budgeting can factor in your needs and wants, you'll gain a much better sense of financial literacy and be well on your way to meeting long-term financial milestones. Let's dive deeper into the steps you can take to budget for financial needs and wants.

Identify your financial needs

The first step in creating a proper budget is to identify necessities like food, rent, utilities, and transportation. These are essential expenses that you should cover first before spending money on any financial wants. Once you've proportioned enough of your income to meet these immediate needs, you can look at other long-term needs, such as clothes, cleaning supplies, and healthcare. You may even decide to include these needs alongside food and lodging in your budget, as they may be just as necessary for you as time goes on. 

Identify your financial wants

Once you have taken care of immediate needs, you can start thinking about your wants. These are items that boost your well-being and overall enjoyment of life but are by no means an immediate necessity. Entertainment, nights out at restaurants, and subscriptions for music or movies are enjoyments that you should include in your budget if you spend on them consistently. That way, you can move on to the next step of your budget: saving for your long-term goals.

Look at your long-term financial goals

After you've factored in your short-term financial wants and needs, you should look at what long-term plans or goals you might have and how you can use your budget to achieve them. If one of your goals is owning a house, for example, you should factor in savings for this in addition to making room for your financial wants and needs. Setting aside money for these milestones makes following through on them a straightforward process.

Follow your budget

After looking at your short-term needs and wants along with long-term financial goals, the only step left is to stick to your budget consistently. Refrain from overspending in each category, or from moving money around so you can spend more money on short-term wants.

Following your budget may take a bit more discipline than you might first expect. It may even take a few months to find the right balance of spending and saving, but as you get into a steady rhythm with your budget planning, you'll find financial planning becomes much easier.

The bottom line

Budgeting incorrectly can lead to unnecessary headaches and financial strain. That's why identifying your necessities and luxuries can become so useful when it comes time to portion out your income. Understand your financial needs, wants, and long-term goals so that budgeting becomes your greatest financial tool, and you'll be well on your way to meeting your financial milestones.

Notice: Information provided in this article is for information purposes only. Consult your financial advisor about your financial circumstances.


Source: Advance America


Categories: Personal and Family Finances

Tags: budget, financial services, personal finance

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Founded in 1997, Advance America, the country's leading state-licensed consumer lender, seeks to help every customer achieve their version of financial stability through a variety of innovative, regulated and transparent small-dollar credit options.