Categories: budget, saving
“A budget tells us what we can’t afford, but it doesn’t keep us from buying it.” William Feather
Many of us get scared by the word budget, because we think it’s all about deprivation. As Feather implies, there is a degree of discipline involved in budgeting, but that’s only a small part of it. I asked some of my blogging colleagues from the Yakezie network to share their best budgeting tips. These wise individuals came up with some really comprehensive stuff!
Just like losing weight means taking in fewer calories than you are expending; gaining wealth means spending less than you are earning. In both cases, there is more to it than denial. Read on and get some creative ideas for gaining wealth in money and life through budgeting.
Craig at Free from Broke writes:
- My tip would be to just get started. A budget doesn’t have to be too complex. At its core, a budget’s purpose is to say “I have this much money and this is where it needs to go.” If you don’t have a perfect budget in the beginning that’s OK!
- Budgets are estimates and are meant to be fluid.
- Get started on one and you will find that you have an instrument that can vastly improve your finances.
Craig writes more about simple budgeting in the article Excuse Busters for not Having a Budget.
Jason at RedeemingRiches takes a unique approach with 3 tips:
- Put “charity” into your budget and don’t negotiate it. You’ll be amazed at how joyful you become when you put giving into your budget and you’ll be excited to know you’re making a difference in people’s lives.
- Put “fun stuff” into your budget so that it’s not just drudgery.
- Celebrate milestones. If you’ve done a great job on your budget for two months? Celebrate! Managed to save some money into your emergency fund? Celebrate! It’s so important to celebrate the small victories and build momentum.
Read more from Jason on budgeting here.
Len at LenPenzodotCom writes:
- Respect your budget as you would respect your wife (or husband, as the case may be). Temptation to break the budget is going to pop up now and then, especially if you have only recently started implementing a regimen of financial discipline.
- Speaking of your wife (or husband) be sure to involve them in the process. It is a lot easier to keep to a budget if both parties are “on board” with the process.
- Remember to set aside a small portion of your budget allocation for building up your savings. Use direct deposit from your paycheck.
Visit Len’s site for a unique twist on personal finance.
Joe from Personal Finance by the Book writes about a tried and true budgeting method; THE ENVELOPE SYSTEM.
- The budgeting tip that has helped my wife and me the most is using envelopes. The envelope system absolutely forces our budget to work because we use them for every variable expenditure (groceries, eating out, gasoline, fun, gifts and clothing).
- The amount of cash we put in the respective envelopes dictates how much we can spend. When the envelopes are empty, we are done spending.
- Simple and effective…we have been using envelopes every single month for years and love the way we feel we are in control of our money without having to micromanage it.
Read more about Joe’s effective system in Budgeting without Bean Counting.
You know Crystal will have something worthwhile to contribute since her website is titled, Budgeting in the Fun Stuff.
- Remember to update your budget regularly. When I first made our budget, I forgot a few things. It took about 2 months to work out all the little kinks. I also update it every 3 months anyway since some regular expenses can change and new ones are added. An updated budget is much easier to keep up than an incomplete one.
- I’d also suggest being patient. You may go over your budget once in a while or forget a big annual expense. Don’t let that deter you. Even an imperfect budget is a useful tool to understand your money.
Read more of Crystal’s finance musings at her site.
Jacqueline at Single Mom Rich Mom offers a creative take and healthy perspective on the budget:
- My most used budgeting tip is to not budget everything but to budget only in the areas that you tend to overspend or unconsciously spend – my personal areas that I try to control are eating out, groceries, travel, and book purchases. Everything else just is what it is.
- I would also recommend that you budget some fun or other things that you really value into your plan. I think we can focus too much on saving money and forget that one of its purposes is to allow us to get a little more enjoyment out of life in meaningful ways. I set my fun budget at $300/month and never seem to manage to spend it. Something to work on!
Get more of Jacqueline’s clever insights here.
Finally, Shane from Beating Broke closes with two tips for all to remember:
- Budgeting can absolutely save your financial life. But, be careful that it doesn’t strangle the life out of you at the same time.
- Leave some wiggle room for small splurges now and again.
In his article about Creating a Simple Budget the Beating Broke Way he gives a detailed account of a system that may work for you.
Follow these personal finance bloggers’ advice, have no fear, and get on with a budget, NOW!