Creating a Budget: 4 Ways to Take Charge of Your Spending
I wasn't always so "budget savy", but as the saying goes, "desperate times, cause for desperate measures." So I had to learn fast to keep a budget and stay consistent. See how I was able to find a long-term fix to a tight budget.
Creating a Budget
Here are 4 ways to ensure success with your budget:
1. Communication is key.
You must have communication with all the parties who have access to the money. Having a budget is like having a marriage. If you're single, then there may be less confusion, but when you're married, you both HAVE to be on the same page! Having a family budget is "the family business." When you have multiple people who live off the budget doing opposite things, that causes the "family business" to fail. You both need jobs to help with individual accountability. Maybe you write the bills on the dry erase board, or monitor the accounts, or balance the checkbook.
2. Write it down.
What are your bills? What are you bringing in and what is going out? What do you lack? What do you have left over? What are you willing to allot for clothing/food/entertainment? The last question doesn't always need to be the same each month, but the rest has to practically be written in stone.
3. Combine all money.
It's good to have the majority of the money doing the same thing: paying your bills. You can't be separate in this matter, because it doesn't work. It can also cause confusion. All checks can be written out of the one account and tracked, in case you forget or overpay, you can always look back in your duplicates. You'll also want to save a few buck-a-roonies for a rainy day.
4. Know your billing cycle.
In my house, the way our income has operated for years is it comes in twice a month, therefore our bills cater to the cycle of the income. My dry erase board is like another member of our family that hangs on the fridge as a reminder of things to come. Get your own dry erase board or a desk calender, something that you can use consistently, that can become a member of your family and remind you of your bills. You have to have relationships with your creditors. My billing cycle runs at the beginning of the month and at the end.
Do you have a budget? How are you and your family making sure you stick to it?
Photo courtesy of flickr
Mango Chutney is also known as ThePostpartumom. I'm very random. I have 5
girls Divas (one who's with Jesus) and a Divo husband, who's more high maintience than he thinks. I live in middle America. I live my life closely resembling Groundhog Day;)