Tips on Obtaining Your Budgeting Goals

As we find ourselves in a time of economic downturn, it is more important than ever that we are sticking to the budgets that we set out for ourselves. Going over budget in these tough economic times could mean not being about to pay our bills on time or having to forfeit assets. As these are things that no one ever wants to have to do, try following these tips that will help you to stay on track with your budget and make it through the economic crisis without worry.

1. Make a budget.
It will come as no surprise that a person can not stick to a budget that the have not made. Knowing this, naturally the first step to sticking too your budget is making that budget. The first step to making your budget is documenting your income for every month. Next tally up all of your fixed expenses, or bills. Whatever is left, distribute to categories like groceries, gas, entertainment, and whatever other things you find yourself spending money on. A key category that you should try to put money into every month is savings. That way if you do have to stray from your budgeting goals you have extra money to do so. It also helps in the event of an emergency to know that you have funds stored away if you need them.

2. Use the envelope system.
Even when you have a budget, it can sometimes be difficult to gauge your spending if you are always using a credit or debit card. A great way to keep track of your spending is the envelope system. This system is quite simple to understand and very easy to follow. You will simply make an envelope for each of your spending categories for the month and write the name of the spending category on the front of the envelope. Every month you will put in the amount of cash you have set aside for each of those categories in their respective envelopes. This way when the envelope is empty, you know that you should not spend any more for that month.

3. Do away with online shopping.
Online shopping is all to easy to do, meaning that it is all to easy to spend money that you wouldn't normally spend, and that you might not have for that category of spending. Just say no! Although you may be enticed by the ease and convince of online shopping, it will come back to bite you when you receive your bills for your purchases. If you do have money in your envelope in the category that corresponds with your online purchase, feel free to spend it online but be sure that you take the amount of money you spend online from your envelope and put it into your checking or savings accounts. This will prevent you from double spending your budget.

Author Jason Harter is an accountant who makes a living off of his skill with numbers. He handles a lot of busgetary decisions both in the workplace and at home. He is an authority on accounting because of his Masters in Accounting Degree

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