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Tips on Improving Your Personal Budget

Young woman reviewing budget

No two people are in the same financial situation, that’s why when it comes to your budget it is important to make it personal. It might be hard to get yourself on track, to set some goals and stick to them for a long period of time. It turns out there isn’t just one thing that you can do to help improve your budget. The combination of smaller efforts can add up and make a difference, here are some tips that might help you with your budget.

1. Track and Treat

No matter how much money you have or don’t have, tracking where your money goes is the first step to gaining control of your finances. Our clients can use their personal financial management tools to see when and where they were spending their money each month. After you identify your spending habits, you can make a budget and minimize your spending in certain areas. Make sure you reward yourself for sticking to your budget. If you have been cutting down on spending money on dining out, treat yourself to a night out after you reach your budgeting goal.

2. Minimize the monthly bills

There are some bills you can’t do anything about, but there are also a decent amount of bills you actually can minimize helping put money back into your wallet. Billshark is a bill negotiating service that helps lower your monthly bill to service providers such as cable, internet, wireless and home security. Sometimes we sign up for monthly bills we forget about, so make sure you have a list keeping track. Whether it’s cutting down on streaming services or cancelling VIP shopping membership, try to start the new year with a smaller list.

3. Limit the credit card purchases

Credit cards are often one of the biggest temptations to breaking that budget of yours. Instead of swiping that card and making it a burden of your financial future, switch to using your debit card for more of your purchases. Using your debit card will make you think about your spending a little bit more, teaching you to hold off on bigger purchases until you have that money in your account. Our rewards debit card offers “credit-like” benefits with 1.00% cash back on all of your “signature-based” purchases.1

4. Save up for big purchases

It is okay to budget in some bigger purchases for yourself, however not thinking about these purchases before making the decision to spend that money is where you can get yourself into trouble. Goalkeeper is a free service that helps you automatically save money for your bigger goals. Waiting to make this purchase until you saved up enough money will also help you realize if this purchase is worth it.

5. Plan for emergencies

It might be hard to put some money aside each month when you are trying to have more freedom with your budget. Even if you can only add a small percentage to your emergency fund each month, it will make a difference in the future. You never want to budget for something bad to happen but having that security net to catch you can come in handy.

1 The Debit Card Rewards Program (Cash Back Rewards) will provide 1.00% cash-back on all Qualified Purchases made by eligible Rewards Checking account holders if the account holder does any of the following; meet the requirements, is grandfathered in, or keeps an average balance of $2,500 or greater within the calendar month in their Rewards Checking Account, or receives total deposits of $2,500 or more in their Rewards Checking account via qualifying Direct Deposit within the month. Qualifying Direct Deposits are Automated Clearing House (ACH) credits, which may include payroll, pension or government payments (such as Social Security) by your employer, or an outside agency. LendingClub Bank, N.A. may require documentation to verify that credits are Qualifying Direct Deposits. The value of this reward may constitute taxable income to you. You may be issued an Internal Revenue Service Form 1099 (or other appropriate form) to you that reflects the value of such reward. Please consult your tax adviser, as LendingClub Bank N.A. does not provide tax advice. Qualified Purchases include signature-based purchases made with a LendingClub Bank Debit Card tied to a Rewards Checking account enrolled in the Debit Card Rewards program. These are “credit” purchases that can be made in stores and online. To make a signature-based purchase, select “credit” rather than debit at point-of-sale kiosks. The “credit” option is most often pre-selected when making purchases online using a debit card. Online subscription payments may not be considered signature-based purchases. The payment transaction type (signature-based or other) is ultimately decided by the merchant and how the transaction is transmitted to LendingClub Bank N.A. at the time of processing. We reserve the right to determine if a transaction was a Qualified Purchase, and to establish additional types of Qualified Purchases that could be made available in a variety of ways. Any goods or services purchased with the LendingClub Bank Debit Card that are returned or otherwise credited to your Account are not qualified purchases. Unlawful purchases and purchases of currency, cash or cash equivalents (including, without limitation, currency from the U.S. Mint, Travelers Cheques, gift cards, Cryptocurrency, Casino Chips, Peer to Peer Payments, prepaid debit cards, account openings, loan payments, or other cash equivalents) made with your LendingClub Bank Debit Card are not Qualified Purchases. We may require you to provide documentation to validate that certain purchases are Qualified Purchases. LendingClub Bank, N. A. reserves the right to modify or discontinue this program at any time. Your enrolled account must remain open, active, and in good standing to participate in the program, meaning: No NSF (non-sufficient funds) items during the preceding twelve calendar months in your checking account (regardless of the type of checking account). An eFunds check must show no negative history in the preceding twelve months and all monthly servicing fees must have been paid in full for the 12 preceding months. LendingClub Bank N.A. reserves the right to modify the description of “good standing” at any time. If you or the Bank closes your account for any reason before the end of the statement cycle, you will forfeit all rewards accrued through your linked Debit Card during that statement cycle.

About the author

Eileen Flynn

As the Social Media and Public Relations Coordinator, Eileen has grown up with the online and mobile banking industry. Eileen writes for other generation Zers and recent college graduates who are balancing both saving and spending and explains how online and mobile banking is there to help.