Quick Find:

•  Don’t Rush
•  Budgets aren’t the Same
•  Expect Surprises
•  Stick to it
•  Stay Positive

Return to Budgeting

For anyone new to budgeting, it can be a bit overwhelming at first. Most people think about budgeting the same way they think about dieting; you know it is good for you, but it can seem like too much work at times. Here are some useful tips to help you with your budget.

Don’t Rush your Budget

If you miss your budget right away, don’t give up. It takes at least a month to identify any problems and make adjustments to your budget.

People often rush into their budget without much thought, expecting it to work right away. You need time to adjust to your budget to determine whether it is right for you. Give your budget about 3 months, if you are still having problems considering revising it and making adjustments as needed.

All Budgets Aren’t the Same

Budgets will vary from person to person because everyone’s financial and debt situation is different.

There are a numerous types of budgets. Each depends on the goal or conclusion you are trying to accomplish. For example, some people need a budget to merely keep track of their money, while others look to budgeting as a way to keep their expenses below the amount they can actually afford.

Expect Surprises

Not all your expenses are going to be the same each month. It is important to understand this and prepare for months when bills may be higher than usual.

For the most part, monthly bills are pretty consistent, such the cable bill; however, other bills, like utility or phone bill, may vary from month-to-month. For this reason it is important to average out the cost of your expenses, for at least 3 months, than using the cost from a single month. Additionally, on months when one of these varying expenses falls below the average in your budget, put the money away instead of spending it to better prepare for those months when the cost goes above the average.

Stick to your Budget

Sometimes people tend to shy away from their budget when emergencies occur, such as car problems. The sooner you get past these incidents and get back on your budget the better.

One way to better anticipate such emergencies is to set up an emergency fund. To do this, first pay all necessary expenses and if there is money left over, add a portion of it to an emergency fund. Make sure this fund is used only for emergencies; when your regular income will not cover both your necessary expenses and any unexpected expenses.

Keep a Positive Attitude

Most people have negative feelings about budgeting because they think it’s restrictive and don’t enjoy penny pinching. Keeping a positive attitude about using a budget will help you to make it work.

A great way to help keep your spirits up when budgeting is to think of it as a spending plan to achieve your financial goals or you can even turn it into a game. Approaching budgeting like a game can provide a challenge where you are competing for a prize. The prize, of course, will be achieving financial freedom or at least gaining a sense of confidence about how you handle your money.