Budgeting for the New Year

An illustration of a watch and growing stacks of coins.

If you had a dollar for every New Year’s resolution you’ve broken, what would you do with all that money?

If spending was your first thought, here’s a resolution that can help your money grow: create and use a budget in the new year. Start by taking these steps to make a budget.

Gather your bills: Write down your expenses from last month—rent, transportation, grocery costs, and so on. (This budget worksheet can help you get started.) That will help you see what you might spend this month. Then, write down how much money you expect to make in the coming month. Now compare. If your expenses are more than what you’ll earn, consider where you can cut back on your spending. If it looks like your expenses will be less than your income, think about whether to spend or save the expected extra money.

Use your budget to plan: Saving for a big purchase?  Worried about some unexpected expenses? A budget can help you figure out how you spend your money, and create a plan to help you meet your day-to-day expenses, prepare for emergencies and build savings to meet your long-term goals.

Need more help? View this helpful video:

Prepared by Alesha Hernandez, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC.