Working on your budget for the new year

Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 5:08 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 6, 2021 at 7:57 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Now that we are starting to get our stimulus checks, how should you factor that income into your budget?

The new year is the perfect time to start fresh with a new budget or just re-evaluate your current budget. A community financial education coordinator at Royal Credit Union says it’s important to keep it basic.

The first thing you need to do is ask yourself what you have for income and get that number established, which includes your job, anything you sold and now that stimulus check. Then track your spending to what you are buying, an easy way to do that is go through your bank statements from the past year.

Once you have your income and spending established then it’s time to break it down. Pay yourself first and put money aside for savings. Then include funds for housing expenses, everything included in transportation and don’t forget to set some money aside for fun categories including pets, shopping or vacations.

“I think the number one thing that people get overwhelmed with when it comes to budgeting is they get really restrictive and they cut out all the fun stuff that keeps them engaged and happy and you don’t want to do that,” said Cooper Larson, the community financial education coordinator at RCU. “You have to prioritize and figure out what works best for you.”

Everyone’s budget is going to be different and it’s not going to be perfect so that’s why it’s important to re-evaluate.

If you would like to get started in creating a budget for the first time or re-evaluating your current system here are some resources:

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