One of the funnier moments in the film, “Robin Hood: Men In Tights,” is when Blinkin, Robin’s blind former servant, is perched high in a tree looking for strangers trying to enter their camp.

Robin Hood shouts, “Blinkin! What are you doing?”

Blinkin replies, “I’m… guessing? I guess no one’s coming?”

When it comes to budgets, it’s easy to be blind to your spending. But you don’t want to be like Blinkin up in a tree. You want to be certain. Here are four ways to do it.

1. Don’t guess at costs

Review your expenses from 2019. This gives you a more accurate view when creating your new budget. You’ll also feel more in control as you identify areas and times during the year when you needed to spend more.

2. One-time expenses

Don’t forget annual expenses like professional license renewals, warehouse club fees, or a Chamber of Commerce membership fee. Some of these fees can be hefty. Anticipate these costs by setting aside money each month for them so you won’t be surprised.

3. Give yourself a winning advantage

At the beginning of a New Year, motivation is high to cut out all nonessentials and practice serious belt-tightening. Instead of taking drastic steps, commit yourself to cut out a few expenses. For instance, instead of vowing not to get takeout food three times a week, just decrease it to once a week. Taking a few small steps will help you stick to your plan.

4. Switch your financial gears

Most people approach their budget with the spending areas first, and then whatever is left over, will be put into a savings account.

Instead, switch gears. Choose to save 15% of your earnings each month and then work from the remaining amount. This will force you to be smarter with what you have while meeting your savings goals.

Creating a budget is a critical step in getting your finances in order and it’s not difficult to do. Sticking to it is another matter. Helping you establish a realistic, solid financial foundation that will build a secure future is what we specialize in here at Matson & Cuprill. Give us a call at 513-563-PLAN (7526) or book online to set up your free “No Guessing” review today.

Dan Cuprill, CFP®