Even if you do not like having to deal with facts and figures or have little knowledge of how your accounting system should work, having a budget helps to keep you on track towards your goal and shows you where you are able to cut back on spending so that you can save more towards your final goal.
A lot of people start off budgeting with genuine delight and a feeling of purpose, only to throw the budget away and become despondent within a few weeks, the popular reason for this is that there was no actual goal to work towards.
Here are some tips on how to keep to your budget.
Have a goal – There must be a reason why you want to budget, besides wanting your money to stretch further. Whether it is to buy a new suite or to go on holiday at the end of the year, the goal is important to making your budget work.
Keep it simple – You are not planning to present your budget to a board of directors for approval, so you do not have to make it complicated. You have a certain amount of money that you get in each month and you want to realistically allocate it to cover all your needs, so you only need household (the money you spend on utilities, food, transport etc) debt (any debts you are paying off) and savings (the money you putting towards your goal).
Tracking – You need to see where you are spending your money so you can physically see where you need to cut back to put more towards your goal.
Budget for periods you can handle – if you wanting to budget but find that you fail within the first two weeks of the month, then only budget for every two weeks.
Be Realistic – don’t set your budget aims on what you should be doing, set them on what you are doing. If you going out for drinks with friends every week, and you only prepared to cut it down to every second week, then allocate money for the drinks, else you will be out of budget.
Rewards – Trick yourself into keeping to your budget by allowing yourself a smaller treat like an expensive cheese or a dinner with your partner every three months when you have managed to keep to your budget.
The article on Mint Life lists six practical methods which you can implement easily to help you create a budget that will work for you. Each family or individual has their own needs, although the various sample budgets that are available online will help you as a guide, it is best to sit down and prepare a budget that suits your specific needs and goals.