Are Your Books Balanced for May?

May 02, 2014

Save on mortgage with budget checksMay has just started, and it seems like the months are flying by (because they are!), so how is your 2014 budget looking? If your answer is “well… ehh…” then it’s time to get yourself righted, and there’s no better time than right now!

Starting a budget at the beginning of the month is a great time to both look back at how well you did the month before and set expectations for this month. Even if you only have a loose idea of budgeting, doing a monthly spot check can do wonders for helping you reach your long-term financial goals.

Step one, whether you are starting your first monthly budget or checking on how your year is progressing, is to scan the budget. This can be a lot easier if you have a program like Mint that helps you visualize your expenditures, but even if you’re faced with manually going through your statements, many finance organizations have made it easier than ever to see where your money goes. From there, it’s the simple matter of cutting out things you are no longer using, being mindful of expenditures (ask yourself, “do I really need to spend that much on eating out?”) and setting a 30 day plan.

If you want to get fancy with it and get an even better lead on that mortgage in Chicago, you can take additional steps like:

  • Manually issue payments rather than using automated payments, which can be costly if they are delayed and you are charged a late fee, or if a double payment is accidentally issued.
  • Audit your accounts to check for service cost increases on everything from cable bills to checking account fees, then call to protest the raise.
  • Compare prices on recurring services so you can swap to one that offers better service, lower costs or both, when it comes time to renew.

There are more ways to boost up your monthly budget, save for retirement, and make every dollar go further at the Equifax Finance Blog, so be sure to check them out on Twitter: @EFXFinanceBlog.

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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