Many events in life require you to spend and save money differently. Perhaps you buy a new house or have a new baby or lose your job. These major circumstances often cause you to revise your family budget, but what if you don't have a major life event? Even without a notable change, there are certain reasons your family budget might need an overhaul. Here are five reasons:
Your Income Has Changed
If your income has increased or decreased, for example if you've recently changed jobs, it's time to return to the family budget drawing board. If you are earning more money, you'll likely want to save more money for an existing goal or create a new one. If you're not earning as much, you may need to reduce nonessential or luxury spending.
You've Met Your Savings Goals
Perhaps you've met your savings goal, like buying a car or saving enough for a down payment on a home. First, congratulations! Next, decide what you're going to do with the money you're no longer saving toward this goal. A good rule of thumb is to replace your completed savings goal with a new savings goal, even if this new goal is less specific, such as saving money for a rainy day.
You've Received a Lump Sum Payment
Make sure you're budgeting wisely with a lump sum payment, such as an inheritance. You could use your inheritance to pay down your highest interest credit cards, for example, or you could increase your monthly mortgage payments so that you could own your home quicker than you'd originally planned. But first, make sure to review your family budget to see where this extra money could be best used.
You're Saving Very Little – Or Nothing at All
If you're living paycheck to paycheck, or are nearly there, it's time to head back to the drawing board. Most experts suggest that your rainy-day fund should be between nine and 14 percent of your annual salary. If these expectations are difficult to meet, you need to find ways to trim your family budget.
If you truly feel like there's nowhere you can cut your spending, the best way to stay on top of your finances is by tracking each expenditure. Coosa Valley Credit Union's E-Services allow you to monitor your earnings and transactions from all of your accounts. And you'll be offered reminders to pay bills and lines of credit so that you'll not only be able to stay up to date on your budget, but also preserve your good credit score.