Doing a monthly budget can feel overwhelming. At times you might want to give up and just go back to spending without any idea where the money is going. As financial guru, Dave Ramsey said, "You've got to tell your money what to do or it will leave." How many times have you wondered where all the money has gone? Budgeting stops the guessing game!
Here are some tips that have worked well for us and my clients in creating a successful budget.
1. Understand and know why you are budgeting. Do you want to pay off debt or save for emergencies? Knowing why you are budgeting will keep you motivated.
2. Have specific goals in mind. Set realistic goals with your money.
3. Find the right budgeting tools for you. There are several free options available online or Excel spreadsheets work great too.
4. Know your income. Include salary, commissions, items sold, etc.
5. Know your expenses. Include coffee stops, memberships, etc. Look back at your old bank statements to help gather the information.
6. Budget prior to spending. Don't spend and then develop your budget later. That leads to spending beyond your income.
7. Review the budget often. You should review your budget a minimum of one to two times a month. Some months you may need to adjust your budget.
8. Be patient. It took us 3 months to get the budget to work for us. Don't give up and keep working at it.
9. Communication is important. Discuss and communicate about all expenses.
10. Reach out for help. Consider working with a money coach or financial advisor if you are struggling to make the numbers work or need motivation to keep on top of your budget.
It's like trying to lose weight or quit smoking. With the right tools and mind set you can be successful!