Everyone needs a practical, workable budget that you and your partner can use as a tool to plan how to manage your money. Your budget is your blueprint for keeping cash flow positive, and for sticking to your saving goals.

Even if you and your partner will be paying for expenses separately, it’s essential to have one overall household budget. That big picture is indispensable for having a good sense, based on actual numbers, of where the two of you stand financially, and how you plan to stay on track throughout the year.

Remember, a budget is there to help you, and it’s not written in stone. Revisit it on a regular basis.

Create a spreadsheet, or use an app, to list all your anticipated monthly expenses. It can be helpful to divide them by how frequently they occur.

This budget calculator from First Citizens Federal Credit Union is a great tool to see where you stand financially. Fill in as much as you can with as much accuracy as possible to get a sense of your budget.

Compare your income to your expenses. In order to achieve (and maintain) a positive cash flow, you may have to adjust some of the variable expenses—which probably means cutting back or cutting some of them out altogether. You can go back to the answers you and your partner gave when you had the conversation about what kinds of expenses would be the easiest and the most difficult to forego.

Divide your anticipated expenses based on how frequently they occur. Making a spreadsheet or using a budgeting app can help track your expenses more easily.

I use Mint, and it’s helped me pay down my debt and build savings tremendously.

About First Citizens’

First Citizens' Federal Credit Union is one of the premier financial institutions in southeastern Massachusetts. Today, with over 80,000 members and assets over $750 million, First Citizens' has full-service offices in New Bedford, Raynham, Taunton, Mattapoisett, Wareham, Falmouth, Mashpee, Hyannis, Orleans and a lending office in Plymouth, MA. For more information, please click HERE.