Budgeting Tips are something we could probably all use a little more help with! When my husband and I first got married, we didn't realize the importance of setting a budget. However, we quickly learned! I'm quite happy to say that I can now successfully and efficiently handle our monthly budget, usually with some left to spare! I'd like to share a few budget tips with you that I've learned throughout the entire process. Please continue reading for some fabulous tips for handling a budget!
1. Figure out Where Your Money is Going
The first thing to do when creating a budget, is to sit down with a pen and paper. Write down your total monthly income, and then from there, each of the bills you have. Include groceries, gas, car payments, ect. Whatever you have left over, when you subtract your bills from your income, is money that you get to pocket. The next step after that, is to set your priorities.
2. Set Your Priorities
Setting your priorities is one of the important budget tips to remember. Which is more important, money to buy new clothes or money to buy groceries? You may have bills that you could cut, or at least cut in half by making better choices. For example, a phone bill could be cut in half by going with a smaller plan or less expensive phones. Also, ask yourself if you could allot a smaller grocery budget. A family of four could easily live of off $125 for groceries per week as opposed to, say $175-$200.
3. Pick a Monthly "Allowance"
With the money that you have left over after all bills are subtracted, you can give yourself a monthly allowance to spend. This is money that you can use for anything you want. Clothes, movies, going out to eat, jewelry, ect. By doing this, you give yourself some room to play, but not so much that you go over budget. Pick a reasonable amount according to your budget, you still want to have money in the bank to get your through to the next paycheck, or in case something should come up you didn't plan for.
4. Create a Savings Account
One of the best tips for handling a budget I can give you is to start a savings account. Include this in your bill section, and each month, take out whatever you've allotted yourself for a savings account and set it aside. This keeps you from spending it, either accidently or because it's just there. If you're not able to afford anymore than, say $10 per week towards savings, do it anyway! It WILL eventually add up, and you may be thankful someday you have that money to fall back onto in the event of an emergency. It may be an emergency as small as tampons or as big as a hospital bill, but that security net is great to have.
5. Look for Ways to save
Part of budgeting well means looking for as many ways to save as possible. Some ideas include carpooling to work or school, clipping coupons from the newspaper, and swapping out babysitting with friends. When grocery shopping, buy items that are on sale. Try and get as much use out of household products as possible. Buy products that multi task, or that the whole family can use ( Like toothpastes, shampoos, ect.) Doing little stuff like this will help, I guarantee it.
6. Know Your Temptations
Here's a great budget tip for you to remember. We all have our temptations, areas that we find easier to spend money in than others. If you love to buy things on ebay, stay off of ebay! If you love to buy books, stay out of the bookstore! Look for ways to enjoy your hobbies without spending as much. For example, check out your local library for free books, movies and music options. If you love shopping, try thrift or re-sale stores.
7. Find Cheap Entertainment
Mu husband and I figured out that much of our money was going to entertainment. Movies, eating out, carnivals, video arcades and shopping was taking up much of our budget. So we figures out an amount of money to spend per week on entertainment, and when that was gone, we had to get creative! We've enjoyed an array of different fun outings because of this. Picnics, walks, playing at the park, and many other things have become part of our recreational rituals now!
8. Have Long Term Goals
One of the things that will help you to save is to set long term goals. It's a budget tip that's guaranteed to get you places! If you start saving up for a new laptop or a vacation to Rome, or having a baby, you will be more encouraged to save money for that purpose. Just give it a try and you'll see what I mean!
I hope these wise Budgeting Tips will help you get your own budget into order! It can take a little while to get the hang of budgeting, so don't despair! Be patient, stick with it. You will get the hang of it eventually, and then you'll be sharing tips for handling a budget with your own friends! It's not difficult, it just takes a little self-discipline and the realization that not everything we think we need is necessary. What are some of YOU budget tips?
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