Budgeting and Recordkeeping
Budgeting is a powerful financial management tool. A good budget should include:
- Income from all sources
- Expenses, including:
- Car expenses - payment, gas, insurance and maintenance
- Medical expenses
Developing a Spending Plan
With a spending plan, you determine how you want to use every dollar of your income. A spending plan can help you:
- Set goals.
- Stay on track with your goals. Whatever your goal - save more, pay off debt or make a major purchase - your spending plan is the map to you help you reach it.
- Choose to spend money on the things that matter to you. With a spending plan, you assign priorities and budget money accordingly.
- Avoid over spending on things that don't really matter to you.
- Live within your means.
Here's how to get started:
- Determine income.
- Next, track your spending for a month (include bills you pay, and money you spend other than bills).
- Then categorize your spending. Categories may include savings, housing, utilities, transportation, clothing, entertainment, food - any categories that emerge when you examine your spending.
- Calculate what you're currently spending in each category as a percentage of your income.
- Then determine what you want your priorities to be, and how much of your income you want to direct to each priority.
- Use this as a guide to adjust your spending.
Use our Budgeting Worksheet to help you track your spending plan.
Keeping Good Records
Basic financial recordkeeping should include:
- A spending log that helps you keep track of the money you spend day-to-day, including cash, debit card usage and checks
- A record of all bills paid, including the payee, date, amount and method of payment. Online Bill Pay provides a consolidated record of your payments. Learn more about Online Bill Pay
- Income records, such as paycheck stubs
- Tax records, including W-2s, 1099s and deductible items such as charitable contributions
- Insurance records, including car, home, health and life insurance
- Bank account statements, either on paper or online
- Savings & investment account statements, including statements and transaction confirmations
- To send an email that contains confidential information, please visit the Secure Message Center where there are additional instructions about whether to use Secure Email or Online Banking messaging.