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Budgeting Tips

 1. Be realistic.

Sure, we could all save a bundle if we didn't have to eat or entertain ourselves. You can cut your grocery bill by up to 15% or so, but a 25% or more reduction in spending is just unrealistic. Plan on spending some money on entertainment, everybody needs some reward.


 2. You're budgeting your money to save money.

You're doing this for a reason- make it count. Try to save at least 5% of your income each month.


 3. Track your actual spending.

Don't fall into the trap of setting up a detailed budget and then forget to track your actual spending. Track your spending daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, hourly, whatever- just make sure you're tracking what you actually spend!


 4. Make a list of free things to do each month.

A concert in the park, hiking on the weekend, volunteer time at a soup kitchen. Be creative.

 5. Correcting bad spending habits.

You've invested your hard earned money into a budget spreadsheet or budget software, now make it pay off. How do you correct bad spending habits? Discipline and learning from your past mistakes.


 6. Plan for the unexpected.

Make sure you put aside some emergency funds for unexpected events (medical bills, automobile repair, loss of employment, etc.)


 7. Don't panic.

If you spend more than you make in a given month, treat it as a lesson learned, not the end of the world. Stick to your budget as best you can, learn from your mistakes and try to improve every month.


 8. Reward yourself.

Try to reward yourself at the end of each month for a job well done. This will help you stick to your goals in the future.

 9. Stick with simple budgeting tools.

Don't get lost with the latest and greatest budget software that has the most bells and whistles. The more robust the budget program, the more confusing. Keep it simple.


 10. Avoid materialism and be thankful for what you have.

In this day and age where there is so much focus on creating personal wealth, materialism often gets the best of us. Avoid attachements to material possesions and you will find that budgetting takes care of itself. More importantly, you will afford yourself a simpler yet fuller life while you appreciate what you have.