Friday, November 10, 2006

How To Better Organize Your Budget

Many of us have experienced creating our own budgets but never really have a good "chance" of following them accordingly. And this can lead to a lot of frustration as we cannot even follow our own planning. The truth is, a majority of working adults throughout the world live week to week and don’t really have savings in their accounts.

It shouldn’t be that way!

Instead, if you make a true commitment to yourself that you will create a workable budget, and then stick to it, you could find yourself living with a lot less financial stress.

Here are four workable steps to better organize your budget:-

1) Write It Down!

You have to write down your budget. Many people believe that they know approximately how much they have coming in, and more or less what their monthly expenses are, so they’ve got a budget. Well, not really!

A more realistic definition of a personal or a family budget is a complete plan that includes spending records for the past three months, estimated income (in the case of the self-employed for commissions worker), actual income, and projected spending and out-of-the ordinary expenses. All of these need to be written down in an easy to refer to manner that will allow you to know where you are financially at a glance.

It would quite simply be impossible to keep all of these in your head. Buy a notebook (or, for budget purposes use one that you already have) and start to keep a record of your expenses, and then once you have created a plan — write it down.

2) Have A Monthly Or Twice Monthly Meeting With All Your Family Members

Even if you are the only person in the household who is in charge of the money, if everyone isn’t privy to the budget and doesn’t know what to expect, it will make the process much more difficult.

A great way to get everyone on board is to call a family meeting. If you are married, then the budget should be a joint effort and you should work together as partners. If your children are of school age, then you should explain what it will mean to them.

For example, if your daughter is used to going to a movie with her friends every Friday, and you intend to cut it down to every other week, then explain it to her so that she will know what to expect.

3) Do It In Advance

Don’t wait to create your budget until you are in crisis mode. Instead, sit down at the beginning of every month and write down exactly what your incoming money will be, and then plan for your expenses. Don’t worry about creating a budget for the next year — those are never realistic and will only add to your frustration! Do it month by month, and always look at the past month as not only a guideline, but also for ways that you may improve your budget.

4) Don’t Make It Too Complicated!

One reason that many budgets fail is because they are simply too complicated! By keeping it simple, you’ll not only have a better chance of success, but you’ll also be able to create your budget in no time every month. Try to use just 2 columns - one incoming and another one outgoing — it doesn’t have to be more complicated than that!

So, start with applying these few simple advices. Hopefully they can make a big different to a more workable monthly budget for you.


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