By Allen Hudson, president of the Dallas Banking Center at North Dallas Bank & Trust Co.

According to Forbes , 78% of workers in the U.S. are living paycheck-to-paycheck. This stress is often a result of poor planning and spending beyond a family’s means. Check out these 3 simple strategies to kick-start healthy spending habits for your household.

  1. Create a monthly family budget - Having a simple set plan for your family’s budget provides you with a roadmap of your monthly income vs. your monthly expenses. This allows you to visualize where you can expect to spend your money, and where you can spend freely without feeling guilty. This strategy also gives you a synopsis of your spending patterns and assists you with how to budget future months accordingly.
  2. Organize your set budget – When creating your family’s budget, map out all of your sources of income and subtract your expenses accordingly. Prioritize the essentials: food, housing, clothing, and transportation, and then budget for paying off debts and miscellaneous expenses that’ll occur during the month. Finally, make a zero-based budget by subtracting your desired savings amount and your planned expenses from your income.
  3. Regularly review your budget - Reviewing your budget regularly and seeing how well you stick to it will allow you to set financial goals accordingly. When budgeting for a family, it’s important that you and your spouse are on the same page regarding your current spending and future goals. With communication, consistency and time, you’ll see the value and liberation that comes with budgeting!

Need help getting started? Check out The Federal Trade Commission's budget form at consumer.gov/budget , or talk to one of our bankers at North Dallas Bank & Trust Co. today!