Experts POol


We have all heard that many people are not prepared for the future or are not saving enough money. When we start thinking about our finances and developing a plan, it can be daunting. Follow these key easy steps that don't require a lot of time to get started on a budget and savings plan:

  • Set a monthly savings goal

  • Prepare a simple budget
    • Income - add your paychecks for the month
    • Expense budget – subtract your monthly savings goal from income
    • List your fixed expenses, (housing, utilities, phone, debt payments, food, etc.)
    • Subtract your fixed expenses from the expense budget to determine your discretionary spending budget.

  • Pay yourself - transfer your monthly savings amount into a separate savings account as soon as you get your paycheck.

  • Track yourself – take 15 minutes each month to record your actual income, expenses and savings versus your budget to see if it's necessary to make any adjustments.

Some advice:

  • Start with your income, subtract the savings goal and the difference is what your expenses should be.

  • If your current expenses exceed the expense budget, review your discretionary spending such as meals, entertainment, clothing and set a goal to reduce this slightly each week to get in the habit of adjusting your spending.

  • If you drastically cut spending, you may not be able to stick with it – sort of like diets. Create a habit you can sustain and then build upon it.

  • If you need a list of budget categories, check out The site offers a 30-day free trial with access to input your own budget along with other tools.

Greg Noonan

Greg Noonan, Bus Ad '83, is president of Gregory A. Noonan and Associates, Inc. (bank and business consulting,, and SaVonk, LLC, a website offering with financial tips and tools. He can be reached at



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