- Tips -
There are occasional pay-periods where you may make some extra money, and when that happens there is a surplus! It's up to you on how to use that surplus. You could put it directly toward your goal, or you could let it sit in your bank account as an emergency fund.
The very first month you set up a budget, it's probably not going to work for you, because if you've never kept track of this stuff before, you're not going to magically know how much to put in each category. DON'T BE DISCOURAGED. The second month might be a little better, but most people don't have a good, working budget until the third or fourth month. You didn't ride a bike without training wheels the first time you tried, and you weren't Michael Schumacher the first time you got in a car, either. Practice makes perfect!
A common problem people have when making budgets is that they'll come up with an excellent plan, but then the car breaks down and the plan goes out the window. This is why you have the above-mentioned emergency fund. If you use the emergency fund money for an emergency, don't forget to budget for putting that money back next month!
The first time I tried this, my spending was more than my earning, and that was without putting anything into savings! If that happens to you, do what I did: start making cuts in your spending plan. For instance, my first budget had $150/month for clothing. After making changes, I reduced my spending to $80/month for clothing. You might have to make many changes like that to be able to accomplish whatever goals you have set for your budget.
If you keep your emergency fund in your checking (or savings!) account, it could be very difficult to avoid the temptation to spend it when you see that shiny new must-have item you've been wanting. Find a money-market account with a decent rate of return (4-5%) and check-writing privileges and you'll be ahead of the game.
Calculate on how much you are spending in gas. If you are spending $60 a week in gas then try doing something else. Save money on gas by taking the bus or riding a bike. Riding a bike is very good on saving gas and its exercise. Some buses have added features where they allow passengers to place their bikes so, you can ride your bike and take the bus at the same time which is great.
As time goes by, you will find that your original budget has some flaws. Some areas you underestimated, some areas you overestimated. Some things come up that you didn't account for at all. That's OK! Just make revisions as you get a clearer picture of your spending. Remember to keep your overall spending less than your earning so you can meet your goal.
Another common problem is people see the shiny new must-have item at (insert store here) and they buy it, even though it's not on their budget. Maybe it was on sale and they couldn't pass it up! This is why it's good to have a budget category called "Blow" (or whatever you want.) No, it's not for cocaine, it's the category for impulse purchases! I highly recommend including this category.
Cut out bad habits. Smoking and drinking and excessive dining out are costly. Likewise, excessive hobby habits and travel need to be managed like an emotionally mature adult where providing for the family unit comes first and foremost.
Use application to help you budgeting your personal income and expense like greefi.com its help you make a report of your personal budgeting.
This app help you manage your budget.
Create a Working Budget is a free software application from the Accounting & Finance subcategory, part of the Business category.
The app is currently available in English and it was last updated on 2016-08-24. The program can be installed on Android.
Create a Working Budget (version 1.0) is available for download from our website.
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