Six Tips on How to Create and Stick to a Budget

Workable Budget

The key word here is, workable. Anyone can start saving money by thinking up a budget, but it takes a person who knows how to distinguish their needs and wants to make a successful budget. Spending money is easier than you think, and saving money in an efficient way can be very difficult if you don’t k now the right steps to take. Here are some tips on how to create and stick to a workable budget:

Get your equipment together

You will need a notepad, a pen, and a simple, easy to use piece of budgeting software on your computer.  Saving money with programs like  ”Quicken” or “AceMoney” can be very beneficial. Quicken may be better because you can also get an app for your smartphone that will allows you to enter data which can later sync to your computer.

Needs and wants

That’s the fundamental rule when looking to make a workable budget to aid you in saving money. Know your needs verses your wants. Make a list of each; needs on one side, wants on the other, and use your money saving budget to help you establish a solid difference between the two.

Estimate your income

Estimate everything—not just your paycheck, but your investments and any other extraneous income you will be saving money with this year. Write it down, and look at how spending money that doesn’t go to bills will impact your budget.

Expenses

Again, think of everything imaginable—not just the monthly electric bill, but whether or not your kids are going to need braces this year or if your car is going to need a tune up. Saving money on extras is hard when you fail to plan ahead for possible unforeseeable expenses.

The most important thing

What are you budgeting for? Saving money for school? Retirement? A new car? This is also a hallmark of a workable budget. Write down your financial figures and then, start plugging the numbers into your program. Remember that list of wants and needs? Here’s how your budget goes from failure to workable. You are not a monk, but you probably aren’t a bazillionaire either; you’re simple trying to save money. That being said, take your list of wants and only add them after your needs. And be realistic. If you have to ask whether you should be spending money on a movie during a certain month or not, you probably shouldn’t plug it in.

Nothing’s written in stone

The way things are set up in Quicken and other software programs, it is probably going to get you to plan on saving money on a yearly basis. This is fine, but really what you should be focusing on is the week-by-week spending. The idea is to come out balanced every month, no matter what. Don’t be one of those people that say I’ll just carry the difference into the next month. If you do that then you might as well not have a budget at all!

 

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