SunTrust Bank Home SunTrust Bank Home
h2

Build a Budget : Getting Started

h2

How to Get Started and Stay on Track

Share current LOB: wealth-management

There are lots of ways to approach budgeting, from the casual and informal to the complex and systematic. But the basic steps are tracking your expenses, writing down your projections for the year to come and what your expenses will be. Then, based on an analysis of your current and anticipated spending, you can track and analyze how you're doing versus your projections. Here are some tips for setting up and maintaining a spending plan:

  • Start as soon as you can. Tomorrow is good. Now is better.
  • Put your spending plan in writing and keep it in sight.
  • Save unexpected windfalls, such as a bonus, that birthday check from Aunt Millie or the net proceeds from your last garage sale.
  • Use your budget to evaluate your true costs of such fundamental activities as the per-mile cost of driving your car, staying in your own home for one night, or shopping at the gourmet store for staples such as milk and butter.
  • Eliminate expenses for items or services you never or rarely use.
  • Before taking on a new pet, evaluate the impact on your budget, including the costs of food, training, medical care, grooming, and caring for the animal if nobody's around during the day or you take a vacation.
  • Know where you can skimp and save—and where you can't. Having a haircut every six weeks instead of every four probably won't hurt you. Seeing your dentist only once a year instead of twice might have some severe consequences down the road.

Disclaimers

This content is educational in nature and is not an advertisement for a loan or business solicitation. It does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.


Related Content

  • Bank Safe and Smart on Your Mobile Phone

    If you aren’t already using a banking app on your smartphone, you may want to start. Here’s how you can benefit from the convenience of mobile banking.

  • Podcast: Shopping on a Budget

    Gearing up for wedding season? Shopping for the holidays? Listen to these tips from retail blogger Lisa Koivu to save money online and in stores.

  • Woman on computer

    5 Steps for Making Cuts to Your Budget

    Sometimes, cutting expenses from your budget can seem difficult. But focusing on five specific areas helps you make a plan and stay on track.

  • How much am I spending?

    See your true expenses against your desired expenses and what could be on the table to use toward investments.