1. Calculate Income

The first step in creating a budget is understanding how much money you have coming in. Be sure to calculate your income after taxes and paycheck deductions.

2. Outline Expenses

Make a detailed list of all fixed and variable expenses. It is important to remember to include annual and quarterly expenses (taxes, vehicle registration, donations, etc.).
One popular budgeting method is the 50/30/20 rule. The rule says that you should allocate 50%, 30%, and 20% of your income to the following categories:

Essentials: 50%
  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Debt payments
  • Bills
  • Groceries
Personal Expenses: 30%
  • Entertainment
  • Dining out
  • Date night
  • Shopping for non-essential items
Savings: 20%

3. Set Savings Goals

With the 50/30/20 rule, 20% of your income is allocated to savings. Consider where you want to be financially in the next 6 months, 1 year, 5 years. Realistic, achievable goals will keep you motivated towards the big picture. Take a look at these examples to help you get started:

Short-term financial goals
  • Pay off Debt (student loans, credit cards)
  • Establish Emergency Fund (3-6 months of expenses)
  • Home Improvements
Long-term financial goals
  • Retirement Savings
  • Pay off Mortgage

4. Daily Monitoring

To make a budget successful you must stick to it. By reviewing spending activity daily (or at least weekly) it is easier to stay on track. Online Banking is packed with budget features to help you categorize your transactions to track your spending and stay on budget.

5. Ask for help!

Wherever you are on your financial journey, we have tools like our financial calculators and experts that are available to help you along the way. Our team is dedicated to offering the best in customer service, plus, you can call or chat with us anytime, day or night! So, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 616.559.7000 or stop by your local branch.

Real Solutions for Real Life

Mother and daughter dancing in the kitchen.

Paying Off Debt

Experience the peace of mind that comes with being debt free. Check out these debt tackling methods and make your plan today.

Happy young couple on computer

Raising your credit score

Is your credit score in need of a boost? Read this article for a look at the factors that go into your credit score and tips to improve it.
Friends looking at computer together

Everyday tips for saving money

Saving money can be hard, but there are simple ways to cut back on spending that can really add up.