There comes a point when the money you have going out seems to be more than the money you have coming in and if you don’t find out why your personal financial situation could go from bad to worse. This is a scenario that many people and families are facing these days and one of the best ways to get back on financial track is to learn to budget money.
Living paycheck to paycheck is not fun and those who do it find it gets increasingly hard to meet their financial obligations let alone find any extra to save or invest for the future. The problem most people are having when this happens is understanding how to stay within certain spending limits for their monthly budgeting needs. If you follow a few simple rules this can actually become quite easy.
The first thing to do is write down all your monthly expenses to get an idea of where the money is going. Once you do this compare your out go with your monthly income and that will tell you if you are spending more then you make. If this is the case then you can use your written budget to find areas to cut to free up money for more important bills and expenses.
The next thing to do while learning to budget is start paying for everything in cash. It’s a proven fact that when you use a credit or debit card you spend more then you originally intended. You’ll be more resistant to spending cash because there is an emotional factor attached to it, unlike with credit cards where you don’t see the damage until the bill arrives.
It is also important to think about what you have been spending your money on. This is where the written budget can help again. Do you go out to lunch everyday? How about that Starbucks double frappuccino you drink each morning? Or how many times do you take the family out to eat each week? It all ads up and until you see it written down you may not see exactly how much all the little expenditure are hurting your finances. Learning to budget money teaches you to change your poor money management habits.
Be sure to keep your budget balanced through out the month. It is important to keep track of expenses and income as they happen so you always know how much money you have in your checking and savings accounts. This keeps surprises like overdraft fees from occurring. How you do this depends on your personal preferences. Many people simply keep their budget written down in a notebook while others choose to use budgeting software for this task.
The hardest part for anyone who wants to learn to budget money is just getting started. Knowing that you may not like what you see once it’s all written down can be a daunting proposition. But if you want to take back control of your household finances it is time to get started.