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5 Helpful Tips for Realistic Budgets

Nathan Laupp, Ferguson Financial Group Financial Adviser, Offers Investment Considerations

  1. Gather numbers. To create budgets, examine habits, discuss with a professional financial adviser, and think like a business wanting "profit" left once everything comes in and goes out. Use your pay stub to calculate your take-home after subtracting health insurance, 401(k) and taxes. Next, determine expenses from housing, food, daily commutes and recurring costs. Subtract those recurring costs from take-home pay. 

  2. Determine the biggest unpredictable costs; set a limit. Review credit card statements to identify as many recurring costs as possible; set a maximum amount for those activities. 

  3. Prioritize. After pinpointing spending limits, prioritize them. If you’ve accurately mapped out costs and assets, you know exactly how much to save—and what’s left over to enjoy.

  4. Build an emergency fund. No matter what stage of life one is in, it’s important to set aside 8 to 10 months of living expenses. 

  5. Get ready for retirement. There are plenty of ways to set aside retirement money:  401(k)s, IRAs, fixed deferred annuities. Increase contributions over time—perhaps 1% with each raise—or, if aged 50 or older, look into "catch-up" provisions that allow you to contribute even more.

Note: Nathan provides complimentary financial discussions and evaluations.

This educational, third-party article is provided as a courtesy by Nathaniel Laupp, Financial Services Professional for NYLIFE Securities LLC (Member FINRA/SIPC), a Licensed Insurance Agency, 16253 Swingley Ridge Road, Suite 215, Chesterfield. To learn more, call Nathaniel at 636.487.1021. He is a financial adviser for Eagle Strategies LLC. Eagle Strategies LLC and NYLIFE Securities LLC are New York Life Companies. Ferguson Financial Group LLC is not owned or operated by NYLIFE Securities, LLC or its affiliates. Neither Ferguson Financial Group LLC nor New York Life Insurance Company, or its agents, provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your own tax, legal, or accounting professionals before making any decisions.