Budgeting can be difficult, especially for those that have never created a budget in the past. So, you have researched budgeting and determined your income after researching your expenses and have a general idea of the budget – where do you go from here?
Here are some tips that everyone can use to make budgeting easier.
- Write it down. A budget must be written down in order to be effective. When the budget is written down it can be easier to follow. Use budgeting software, or traditional pen and paper to create a budget that you can live with.
- Research expenses and use past statements and receipts to determine the true costs. True costs must be used through the process to ensure that you budgeting enough money to cover all of the expenses.
- Budget for savings and contributions to an emergency fund. This is an essential part of being able to prepare for the future. An emergency fund should contain enough money to fund expenses for three to six months.
- At least ten percent of the finances should be allocated towards establishing the emergency fund, savings and investments. These types of accounts can help to prepare your financial future and determine how you are going to live.
- No more than fifteen percent of the income should be allocated towards debt repayment. Any more than fifteen percent of the budget that is allocated to debt repayment can create stress in other areas of the finances. If there is no debt within the budget or all of the debt has been repaid than consider using this fifteen percent of the finances towards savings and investments – which will create income rather than charging the interest that comes with debt.
- Follow your budget despite the activities that are going on in your life. For example, If you are on vacation be sure to budget effectively for the extra expenses that will occur through the vacation.
- Adjust your budget through each months of the year when there are certain expenses. This is essential during times of the year like Christmas in which you should budget money towards a separate savings account at least six months before or as much time as it takes to save enough money that is required through the year.
- Find ways to cut money within the budget like saving money each year on insurance premiums and cutting the costs of groceries by using coupons and other money savings methods that can be used at the checkout.
- Take part in a budgeting club (many of these clubs are available through using the internet and forums) and can help to find ways within the budget to save hundreds and even thousands of dollars per year.
- Ensure that your budget has a little bit of wiggle room and your expenses are not over the income which is coming into the household. You may have to change the budget from month to month to accommodate changes in income.
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