By in Budget, Saving | 13 comments

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!


  1. You forgot to give the more unconventional definition of a budget, Barb, so I’ll do it for you here: “An orderly system for living beyond your means.” 😉

    Seriously, you’ve got some awesome tips here! I always love comparing and contrasting others personal finance strategies.

    All the best,

    Len Penzo dot Com

    Len Penzo

    May 16, 2010

  2. Barb,
    This was a fun and helpful read, very cleverly crafted. And…I learned that I am “well regarded”!

    Seriously, I appreciate being included with all of these other well regarded bloggers. Everyone had something worthwhile to share, but no two were the same. Good stuff.

    Joe Plemon

    May 16, 2010

  3. Great tips all! Thanks so much for including mine.


    May 16, 2010

  4. Barb: I kept a budget for 10 years prior to my first retirement when I sold my business.I then continued the budget until this year almost 30 years. I feel it is mandatory if you use credit csrds. It tells you when to say no.
    Keep up the good work, Tom

    tom wides

    May 17, 2010

  5. Great tips here Barbara. I have an extraordinarily simple budget right now 🙂


    June 11, 2010

  6. @Tom, thank you so much for commenting. That kind of financial discipline works on so many different levels. I’m glad you stooped by.
    @ Forest-I am a big believer in SIMPLE!
    Best regards, Barb


    June 12, 2010

  7. Excellent post! I’ve been using The Budget Kit by Judy Lawrence and find it really helpful in getting the structure down. Going to a 100% cash envelope budget has also been excellent for me, since I can’t overdraw or overspend my cash!

    The Saved Quarter

    June 22, 2010

  8. Great suggestions! I appreciate the added tips-as budgeting may be the most important personal finance activity there is! Best regards, Barb


    June 23, 2010

  9. awesome tips! thanks for sharing your knowledge and strategies. it’s really a great stuff!


    September 19, 2011

  10. This all tips are great Barbara, it gives me some good ideas. Thanks for sharing. Hope this is not the last.

    Rex Boerma

    October 12, 2011

  11. I like the idea of envelopes, as opposed to putting the money in your wallet. This gives you a sense of freedom of some sort where you can spend everything you have on that envelope. I don’t think it’s going to matter how much money you have inside that envelope. As long as you get the notion that you can use it up until it’s gone, you won’t feel deprived. Nice idea!

    Andrew Clarke

    mortgage dallas tx

    November 17, 2011

  12. It’s an excellent post Barb with lot of useful informations. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this field with us. Really appriciated!


    January 23, 2012


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