Dollars and Sense: Budgeting Your Money

Vice President Regions' Tupelo Division Ashley Mclellan gives us tip on how to budget our money in order to reach our financial goals
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TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI)- From paycheck to paycheck it’s important to keep track of our money. This is how you take care of priorities, meet financial goals, and prepare for emergencies.

“Literally write down every little thing you spend money on,” says Senior Vice President and Market Executive of Regions Ashley Mclellan. Whether that’s going to buy pens, going to the grocery store -Amazon- make sure you’re writing that down because if you’re not tracking your expenses, you forget about things. And you really have to track it pretty carefully.”

Mclellan says budgeting done right can create big savings over time.

That extra money means you can invest for the future or even buy a home. However, there are some things to keep in mind before buying that home.

“The most important thing is there are lots of expenses outside of just buying a home and your mortgage. You need to know about the escrow which is your insurance and taxes. There is going to be a down payment. Most people need a down payment when buying a home. You need to know if you can spend 10-20 percent. Do you have that to put down? If you don’t it may be best to wait a little bit and see if you can save a little more to reach that target.”

Bank experts say to keep in mind unanticipated events can wreck your bank accounts, such as divorce, medical bills, and even car trouble.

McClellan says to create an emergency fund separate from your savings.

“An emergency fund is not savings. An emergency fund is something you’re going to set aside and look at. You’re saving money but that is for a pop-up or unexpected event. Your savings is for something you’re trying to reach your financial goal whether that’s a down payment on a house, a great trip. Whatever it is. So those are different.”

Regions Bank offers a free education program online called Next Step. The financial resource offers podcasts, webinars, games for kids, and a variety of financial advice.

You can explore the Next Step program at Regions.com/nextstep

That’s the latest on this edition of Dollars and Sense.

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