Skip to main content

Planning for Your 2022 Expenses

Is organizing your finances one of your New Year's resolutions? Get started by creating a budget and planning ahead for the long-term expenses you expect in 2022. 

Start 2022 on the right foot by building a budget that works for you! A budget is simply a spending plan that gives you a clear picture of how you're managing your money. Following your budget will help you avoid overspending so you can save money and prepare for emergencies as well as your long-term expenses and goals!

Follow these easy steps to create your 2022 budget:

#1: List your monthly expenses

Start by listing all your fixed and variable monthly expenses. Fixed expenses are the expenses that stay the same from month to month, such as your rent or mortgage payment, insurance, credit card payment, debt payments for an auto loan, student loan or personal loan, as well monthly savings for your emergency fund and retirement fund.

Variable expenses are the expenses that tend to change from month to month, such as gas, groceries, utilities, dining out, personal care, entertainment and gifts.

If you're not sure how much you spend in each category, review your previous account and credit card statements to get a better idea. Next, add up your fixed and variable expenses and compare them to your income. The goal is to keep your total monthly expenses equal to or lower than your monthly income. You can use this monthly budgeting worksheet to get started.

#2: Plan ahead for long-term expenses and savings goals

As you're listing your typical monthly expenses, don't forget about your long-term expenses and savings goals. These are expenses and goals you'll need to plan ahead and save for over a longer period of time. Examples of your long-term expenses or savings goals might include:

    • Home or vehicle maintenance and repairs
    • Seasonal expenses and holiday gifts
    • Annual taxes and fees
    • Small weekend getaway or big family vacation
    • An event such as a wedding, birthday, or party​

#3: Track your spending

There are many different ways to budget. You could follow a pre-made framework, like the 50-20-30 method or the zero-sum budget. No matter which style of budgeting you choose, it's important to track and record your spending. Wright-Patt Credit Union's (WCPU) free Money Management service, available through Mobile and Online Banking, makes it easy to monitor and categorize your spending, so you always know if you're on track. Click here for an interactive demo.

Looking for more help with budgeting?

Check out WPCU's online Education Center to find helpful Financial Flexibility and Freedom tools, including budgeting worksheets and spreadsheets, financial calculators and interactive learning modules. Or, visit your local Member Center to talk with a Financial Coach about building your 2022 budget.