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As the cost of living and household debt continues to rise and the annual household income has decreased, it’s important to look into ways that you can take back your finances. There are a couple of ways that you can budget and set up some financial goals for 2022

Examine your spending habits

Something that you can do is examine your spending habits. If you don’t have a set budget per month or pay period, you can do this: pull your bank and credit card statements and add up the amount you spent per month on different categories. This could include utilities, bills, groceries, miscellaneous items. This way you can see how much money you’re spending to try and budget for the next month.

Use the rough estimate of what you spent to try and predict what you’re going to do next month. On the other hand, if upon adding all the money up, you’re unhappy with how much you’ve spent, you can taper down how much money you plan to spend. You can also try to figure out if you need to look into ways to increase how much money you’re bringing in, whether you should bring in a roommate or looking at other ways to make ends meet. Based on your eligibility, you could also be eligible for an income-driven repayment plan for student loans or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Saving is key

You may find that saving a certain amount of money you receive in your stimulus check is worth saving. Whether that’s $10 or $150, any amount of money you save per month is going to be worth it in the long run. You never know when you’re going to need to dip into the fund because an unexpected emergency happens, and the last thing you want to do is be out of luck when you pop a tire and need to replace it. 

On the other hand, maybe you’re saving for something fun. A tattoo, a new phone, a post-pandemic vacation. These can help you see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and give you a little happiness. Something to work towards is always going to be an invaluable experience. Regularly putting money aside is always going to be a good idea.

There are a number of things that you can do to make sure you stay afloat during this pandemic.