Budgets are hard to manage. Cars break down, kids get sick, roofs need replacing. These are life events that never fit neatly into a budget. So here is how I recommend you establish a budget.
- Fully contributing to your retirement programs at work with a direct deposit.
- Contributing to an emergency savings account with a direct deposit.
- Contributing to your children's college education with a direct deposit.
- Review your insurance information semi-annually to make sure you are adequately covered (life, health, disability, property, etc.)
- Predict your tax obligations and pay them along the way to ensure you do not owe at the end of the year.
Obviously, if you are not investing for retirement now, retirement will never come later. Save. Savings covers the "messy" events that blow up monthly budgets. In my opinion, everything else is much less important, and that is a great place to trim costs. So with the remaining money, prioritize and spend.