How To Cut The Extras And Afford The Necessities

Keeping to a Budget

We spend a great deal of money on so much that it can be difficult to track it all. We are often left wondering why there isn’t enough left of our paycheck to take care of our necessary expenses. Frivolous spending or simply unfocused spending is responsible for most of the financial problems that people face today. When you can take a look at...

How To Survive On A Budget

Keeping to a Budget

Budgeting has sometimes gotten a bad reputation as being difficult and no fun, but your budget doesn’t have to be all business. If you do it right, you could just learn to enjoy living on a budget. Once you have incorporated surviving on a budget into your daily routine, you will begin to feel a sense of security. You will feel a great sense of...

Making Every Penny Count: A Step By Step Guide To Budgeting

Keeping to a Budget

When you are tight on money it is important to make every penny count. You are not alone, as many are dealing with less-than-stellar financial circumstances while searching for savings. A great way to make sure that you are getting the most out of every dollar and stretching that paycheck is to budget every little expense and stick to it....

Turning Change Into Benjamins

Keeping to a Budget

Saving money can be difficult, especially when you are trying to save a large amount to achieve a particular goal. Just like with anything in life, when you break it down into smaller pieces, it seems much more manageable. Here are a few tips to help you turn that change into a more substantial amount that will get you closer to your financial...

What is a Budget?

Keeping to a Budget

So you want to start the steps to financial freedom and begin to be more responsible about the way you handle your money, but you don’t know where to begin. The best place to start is to create a budget, but what is a budget? If you break what a budget is down into smaller parts, you will see that it is much simpler than you think, and creating...

How Do I Know What to Include in My Budget

Keeping to a Budget

Knowing what to include in your budget isn’t as tough as you might think. You want your budget to include everything that you deal with related to your finances. Here are a few of the basic and most important items you will want to make sure are present in your budget....

How Do I Know How Much to Allow for Each Item in My Budget?

Keeping to a Budget

When you are creating your budget, you want to make sure that you are allowing the proper amount for each item you include. Without the proper calculations, your budget will be a waste of time. So how do you know that you are building your budget in a way that will make it the most useful?...

Do I Include Savings in My Budget?

Keeping to a Budget

We are all eager to save, especially when we begin considering all those things we dream of having one day like a house or swanky retirement plan, but those things take time and work. Knowing this, one might be eager to start incorporating these items into their budget quickly and from the start. There are a few things that you should take care...

Can My Budget Be Flexible

Keeping to a Budget

When you are working on your budget, you want to be as forward thinking as possible, otherwise it would be too hard to set a budget that deals with all variables successfully. Your budget will serve as your blueprint for the plans you make to achieve your financial goals. Sure, you want to be able to “roll with the punches”, and life will keep...

Keeping to a Budget

Part of living on your own and being responsible for your finances is figuring out how to live the life you want while keeping to a budget. Budgeting does not have to be painful and can really benefit your overall financial health and the success that you have when it comes to saving, paying back debt, and your overall quality of living. Here are a few tips to make the process of creating and living on a budget seems a bit less daunting.

List & Prioritize

The first thing you need to do is to list and prioritize all of the different items you wish to include in your budget. One of the most important things to remember when working on this initial step is to be realistic with yourself in both the areas of including everything that you believe you will potentially spend on and allocating the proper amounts, leaving yourself a tight budget, but one that will cover all of your needs.

Of course, you will need to include all of the obvious necessities, such as food and shelter, but you will also want to incorporate into your budget any debts that need to be repaid, such as credit cards and student or personal loans. You will also want to include any monthly bills and entertainment expenses. The failure to incorporate entertainment into your budget, including dinners out or outings with friends, will mean that you will end up borrowing from other areas to cover these expenses and not having enough money in the end or simply going over budget repeatedly. Include an amount that you believe is fair and realistic for this category.

Don’t forget to add savings and perhaps retirement or investments into your budget as well. These are items that will provide for your future, and while you may not be able to incorporate them immediately after prioritizing, try and add them to your list as soon as possible, perhaps after eliminating some debt. The amount that you invest in your future will gain interest and provide financial ease for you down the road.

Cut Unnecessary Expenses

If you find yourself unable to make your budget match your income, take a look at those items on your list that you may be able to do without. If, for example, you have savings or investments on your list as well as paying back student loans or credit cards, prioritize debt elimination.  Once debt is sufficiently reduced, shift the available money to more long term savings.

Owning a car, paying a car payment and having car insurance can be extremely costly. If there is public transportation available to you in your area, you may want to consider using that rather than owning and funding your own vehicle. This could save you close to $1000 a month when you also consider maintenance and the price of gas.

If there are other things you think you can eliminate from your budget, do so. If you are paying $50 a month for a gym membership, consider running or working out outdoors and putting that money toward another area. The smaller a list you can make, the more you will have to allot to each item and when creating a strict budget, and in the end, you will have more money available to repay debt or to put into savings.

Figure out your Game Plan

There are plenty of “budget experts” that can offer their recommendations as to how to be the most successful at keeping to your budget. Do you want to create an excel spread sheet where you can track all of your expenses? Do you want to use an app on your smart phone that can track your budget for you? Or do you want to keep it simple and use the “envelope method,” putting each specified amount in an envelope labeled with what it is to be used for, when you use it up, it’s gone, no borrowing from other envelopes. You decide what will work best for you.

Stick to It

The hardest part of having a budget is sticking to it. You have to get used to living your life by a different set of rules, but just as with any new habit, once you have incorporated it into daily life, you adjust and become accustomed to it. If you can manage to live by your budget, what may seem hard at first will ensure that your future is much more comfortable.