July Tips

Budgeting: The Most Effective Way to Control Your Finances

Budgeting is vital to managing your finances. If you correctly set up a budget and stick to it, you WILL have more money at the end of the month. There are no downsides to using a budget. So why is it that more than half the families in the U.S. don’t use a budget? The most common reason is that people are uncertain about how to start. At First Nebraska Bank, we know that the first step to creating your budget is the most important, so we’re here to help you get your budget up and running, teach you the proper way to maintain it, and most of all, start saving you money.

Why Is a Budget Important? After all, it doesn’t change how much money you make or how much your home, car, or utilities cost. Picture this: Two people drive separately from Los Angeles to New York; one with a map and GPS and one without either. They’ll probably both get to New York, but which do you think is going to get there more quickly, with more money and less stress? Living without a budget is like driving across the country without a map.

Get to Know Your Money

There are endless ways to organize your budget, but they all start the same way. You gather up all your sources of income, monthly bills and any other expenditures or debts. Just by writing all this information down in an organized way, you’ll quickly see how your money flows in and out each month. This first step to setting up your budget takes the most work but is also the most revealing. You will get to know your money, quite possibly for the first time. Now that you and your money have been properly introduced, you’ll be ready to start making it work for you.

Meet Your Financial Goals

If you haven’t budgeted before, you may not have formal financial goals. You may pay your bills, spend money when you need to and hope you have money at the end of the month. With budgeting, you know exactly how much money you have at any time. Setting goals for your money is a great way to give every dollar a job to do. They can be short-term goals like wanting to pay down a credit card by the end of the year; or long-term goals like building a retirement fund. Either way, set realistic goals and put your money to work. It’s been lazy for too long!

Adjust Your Spending Habits

Once you begin to see that budgeting is working for you, you’ll start to see your relationship with money differently. For example, if you set a goal to pay off all your credit cards in two years, and see your money working for you and your credit card debt melting away, you may think twice before running out and buying those gold-plated AirPods. The more money you have working for you, the less you’ll want to spend.

Stick to It

It’s crucial to check in on your budget regularly to make sure everything’s going as planned. It should only take a couple of hours a month and will save you time, money and stress. Review your goals and adjust as needed. You’re not going to plan your goals perfectly the first time. It’s an ongoing balancing act, but your diligence will pay off in the long run.

To help manage your budget, check out our free and interactive online budgeting tool. It’s a great resource where you can record your monthly fixed and flex costs, along with your income. It’s the perfect tool to help you craft your budget and take control of your finances.

Use Our FREE Budgeting Tool

Security Tip:

2019 Top-Clicked Phishing Email Subjects

Every quarter, KnowBe4 reports on the top-clicked phishing emails by subject lines in three categories: Social, General and ‘In the Wild.’ The latter category results come from the millions of users that click on our Phish Alert Button to report real phishing emails and allow our team to analyze the results.

Social Media Is Now a Part of Everyday Business

A significant trend this quarter is that half of all social media-related subjects looked like they were coming from LinkedIn. We’ve seen this particular message type trending upward quarter over quarter. That’s significant because many LinkedIn users have their accounts tied to their corporate email addresses.

Such a high percentage increases corporate risk of a phishing attack, ransomware breach, or other social engineering-related threat. Social media sites, in general, are a crucial piece in the cybercrime economy. According to recent research, cybercriminals earn at least $3.25B per year from social media-enabled cybercrime.

As tempting as it may be to click on links in emails to see who viewed your profile or who wants to connect, it’s more important than ever to think before you click and log in to your account directly.

Hacker’s Tap into Emotions, Causing Panicked Reactions

Aside from social media-related messages, a lot of subject lines contained phrases like de-activation of email, failed delivery and action required to elicit a sense of urgency from the user. These types of attacks are effective because they cause a person to react without thinking logically about the legitimacy of the email. Notices about delivery attempts, Amazon orders and HR-related messages also prove to be too enticing to ignore for many users.

See the infographic with all top messages in each category for last quarter and share it with your users.

See Infographic