10 Ways to Budget Finances Right Now

10 Ways to Budget Finances Right Now

We have all had to tighten our pirse strings a little tighter this year as we face the coronavirus pandemic. Having to manage paying rent, or mortgage, and all kinds of bills can be stressful as it is, let alone during a crisis like we are in now.

Things are certainly a little more stressful and we want to help you feel a little bit better about how you can manage your finances during this pandemic.

Here are our 10 tips on how you can do just that:

1. Add Up All Sources of Income

It is important to know just how much money you make and where it all comes from. Be sure to make a list or spreadsheet where you can see all your sources of income, and how much it adds up to:

  • Wages
  • Tips
  • Alimony
  • Child support
  • Pension
  • IRA
  • SSI
  • Investment or interest income

2. Make Sure to Account for Expenses

Figure out how much money you need to spend on a monthly basis. Account for bills, rent, and food, as well as which of those are fixed expenses, and which are variable expenses.

  • Fixed expenses—mortgage/rent, auto loan, insurances (health, life, auto, home), 401k/IRA contribution*, personal/signature loans
  • Variable expenses—utilities, food/consumer goods—these will be estimates but be sure to be as true to them as possible

3. Calculate Disposable Income

Once you have figured out your total income, subtract from that the total of expenses, and you will be left with your disposable income. The rule of thumb is to budget 50% (or less) of your gross pay for living expenses.

4. Adjust Spending

Look at what you have now, and adjust to make sure you are earning enough to cover your expenses. If you find that you don’t, then it is time to begin making some cuts. Look at what things are necessary, and what are unnecessary. The things to look at are:

  • Cell phone plan
  • Cable or satellite package
  • Clubs/memberships that you don’t use
  • Expensive habits like eating out or getting coffee.

All of these could be unnecessary and able to be cut from your expenses.

5. Decrease Credit Card Use

Be sure to pay off your credit cards every month, once you get your statement. Only paying the minimum can cause problems as credit cards can have high interest rates which compound daily. Not taking care of it when needed can create unhealthy habits, especially when credit cards are used to make up for the shortfall of your expenses.

6. Use Cash As Much As Possible

Cash can help you stop spending more than you have. With cash, you have a finite amount that you know you can’t go over. Once you have stopped spending it, then you know the spending stops then.

7. Be a Smart-Spender

Don’t be afraid to be frugal. Clip coupons, search for the right deals, and spend your money wisely. If something is on sale, buy it in bulk to take advantage of it. Use the internet to compare all stores and their prices, in order for you to find the best price for what you need.

8. Budget for the Unexpected

Always have a fund for emergencies. When things like this pandemic happen, income can slow down or disappear, and it is important to have money to make up for that. Try to have enough saved up to cover living expenses for three to six months.

9. Save for Your Future

Once your emergency funds are set, be sure to invest in your future. Put your money in tax-efficient retirement accounts and keep adding to your 401k.

10. Review Your Budget

Always keep your budget in check. If you get a raise or other things change in your income, make sure to go back and adjust accordingly. Always make sure that you are budgeting in the right way and that you aren’t spending wrong.


Budgeting isn’t something that we wan to do, and it may seem like a hard thing to do, but with these tips, you will be able to budget effectively and easily. Being a smart spender is paramount to ensuring we can financially make it through any situation.
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