Budgeting 101

Financial EducationWV Retirement Plus
Apr 08 2015

Regardless of age or status, each of us should set and follow a budget to help us control our finances for both the short and long term.  Using a budget forces us to consider regular expenses (rent/mortgages, car payments, insurance, taxes,) living expenses (utilities, groceries, maintenance) and even future events such as travel and special occasions.  We should also be allocating money to our savings and retirement funds.  Unfortunately, these important goals are often forgotten until we start to have families or when we get closer to retirement.

 

If you haven’t started a budget, here are a few simple steps to get you started:

 

1.       Track your sources of income.  Make sure to include any sources other than your regular day job.  Do you have a side-job, dividends or interest?

2.       Limit your expenses.  Regular and fixed payments include vehicles, insurance, mortgage/rent, debt (student loans, credit cards, etc.,) taxes, savings and retirement.  Also include groceries, utilities and entertainment expenses.

3.       Subtract Expenses from your Income. 

a.       Are you in the red?  You’ll need to consider how to reduce your expenses.  There are expenses that you can eliminate completely or find ways to reduce certain expenses.  Some utility companies will do home audits to see where you can save on energy expenses.  Also, could you have a yard sale or do odd jobs for extra money? 

b.      Do you have money left over?  Don’t throw a party!!  Go back and pay off debt.  Also, allocate more money to your savings and retirement funds! 

 

 

A few tips to help you consider what’s important:

-          If you are close to retirement, focus on paying off any debt that you may carry into retirement.  If you can, delay retirement until you have debt paid off.  If you choose to delay retirement, this will also delay your Social Security benefits which could pay you more in the future!

-          Teach your children to be financially responsible.  Focus on paying off your own debt and saving for your retirement instead of theirs.  They will have longer to take care of their own financial situations.

-          Take care of your health today.  Family history and poor choices can account for increased health care costs now and in the future.

 

 

There are several online or software programs that you can use for free or purchase to help you with your budgeting.  If you need assistance with your retirement account, please contact our Voya representatives at 1-800-422-7498 to discuss WV Retirement Plus!

 

 

You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the variable product and its underlying fund options carefully before investing. Fund prospectuses, and an information booklet containing this and other information, can be obtained by contacting your local Voya representative. Please read carefully before investing.

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West Virginia State Treasurer's Office
1900 Kanawha Boulevard
Capitol Complex Building #1, Room E-145
Charleston, West Virginia 25305
304-558-5000 Toll Free: 800-422-7498

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