How to Make – Keep & Follow A Budget

Filed in Uncategorized by on June 4, 2011 0 Comments

The economy has forced many people to begin budgeting in a big way. Even those who have always budgeted has had to tighten their belts and cut costs. For some, it is a time to give up the luxuries such as TV and telephones. Each of us have to decide on a budget that is right for our family.

 

Even thoee of us who have kept a budget for years, we can still learn more from each other.  This post is intended as a place to share those tips that you have learned and to learn new ones from other members in the Gather community.

 

Often it can be difficult to know just how to begin a budget. Just the thought can intimidate many families. I would like to offer some suggestions to get started. Keep in mind that what works for one family may not work for yours.

 

First, you will need to familiarize yourself with your spending habits. Even if you think you know where all the money is going. You may be surprised at the little things you are spending money for and how they add up. A can of coke while traveling home from work, a cup of coffee in the morning, a few bucks to the kids so they can go to the pool. Little things like this can eat into your budget without you even realizing it. So I suggest you follow every penny you spend for the next two weeks. Yes, every penny. Keep a small notebook with you at all time and write down everything that you dish our money for beginning with the notebook itself. Keep those sales slips in an envelope. To keep from wasting money on the envelope, use one that came in some junk mail. Put everything to use to save you money.

 

It is only after you have a log of your two weeks spending that you will realize just where your money is going. You will be surprised so be ready. Do not do anything else until the first two weeks have past then go on to the second suggestion.

 

The key to a budget that works for you and your family begins with knowledge. Honest and accurate knowledge is your biggest tool.

 

 

 

Second, you will need to gather up your bills. This includes the monthly bills such as water, sewer, power, phone, Internet and such.

 

Third, you will need to gather bills that you only pay every three or six months such as vehicle insurance, life insurance, and such.

 

Third, you will need to clean the kitchen table off and get all the above items spread out. Now gather your family and get started. They each need to know what the budget will consist of. If you let the kids help with the budget, they will be less likely to give you a hard time. Make sure to allot a few dollars for them. Then when they ask for something remind them that they have so much they can spend and they need to decide what it will be used for but they will not be allowed to spend more than they are allotted.

 

Now you will begin to write up your budget. There are many budget tools online that you can print out (make sure to allot for that ink for the printer). One budget that is easy to adapt to your family is available for free at Google Doc. Click here to download it.  You may have to create an account, I am not sure because I have an account and I did log in.

 

I don’t want to overwhelm you so that is all the tips I will add in this post. Tips are good but it is easy to get lost in the “jest” of it and loose sight of the reason you are making a budget. Keep it simple and stick to it, no matter what! The first three months you will probably be adjusting it as you find things that you forgot to add. After that it should be worked out.

 

Remember to set aside an emergency fund. A great way to start that without feeling the pinch is to use your online money in a separate account as well as keeping a jar for all change. Make a rule to never get into the jar or online account unless it is an emergency.

 

That will keep you busy for at least two weeks. Good luck and I do hope you will share you tips with the rest of us.

About the Author ()

I am just a simple country gal. I have been married to my best friend for over 34 years. We have two beautiful daughters, two Son In Laws and four grandchildren. My family is the most important thing to me. I love them dearly. I love life to the fullest.

Leave a Reply