Despite the fact that we recognize following a budget makes loads of sense and that there are many tools available to help us set up and stick to a budget, it is something we have had trouble doing. In fact if I gathered up all of the Excel spreadsheets with "budget" in the title strewn across our many computers you'd likely be able to fill a blank CD! Thankfully, the blogger Saver from She's a Saver, He's a Spender has compiled 7 steps to getting on a budget. With these simple steps, even the most fiscally challenged individual should be able to begin getting their money under control.
Aside from the usual information about budgeting which is always floating around, Saver presents some great commentary to help you get going. One of the most important parts of creating a budget which is pointed out is to be reasonable. If you set an unreasonable budget which throws too much money at debt or savings, you won't follow it and then you may as well have just played it free and loose. Finally, at the end of the month make sure you look over your budget and adjust it based on your experiences. A budget is not a static tool; it should change as you gain experience and have life changes.
As I mentioned I don't have a budget. My wife and I have been playing it by ear, so to speak, with constant monitoring of our checking account before making any major payments. While we spend less than we are currently making and are throwing most of our excess at credit card and student loan debt I think we could do a much better job of making our money work for us, especially by budgeting for minor purchases like meals and coffee. Stay tuned in the coming months and weeks while my wife and I try to choose a budgeting tool and deal with the realities of a budgeted life!
What's your favorite budgeting method? Leave me some advice on what system or tool I should try out in the comments.
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