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Budgeting: Tips and Tricks

Updated on September 25, 2011

Tips

When it comes to budgeting, there are many various ways to create one. Along the way to building my own budget, as well as learning about them in class and creating them for friends and family, I have come across a few tips that increase the efficiency of a budget and cut down the time involved in creating one.

  • Round up expenses. Whether you round up to the nearest $10 or the nearest $50, it allows minor wiggle room. This wiggle room can come in handy in case of fees or an increase in bills due to other circumstances. This also allows some money to be left over at the end of the month which can be directly put into savings.
  • As stated in another budgeting hub, keep a record book for your expenses throughout the month if you do not know where you are spending your money. This includes medications, coffee, gas, and going out.
  • Grouping expenses together will help keep your budget clutter free and easy to understand.
  • Put directly on your budget your reasons for creating it. An example is to save more money, pay down debt, cut out a bad habit such as impulse shopping. This will help motivate you to stick with your budget.

Tricks

There are many resources available to help with the budgeting process. They vary from pricey software programs to free online resources.

Software

  • Intuit: Must pay for
  • SimpleD Budgeting: Same basic functions as Intuit, but free.
  • Microsoft Excel: Many computers come with this program today. This is a simple spreadsheet program that can also create graphs. Visuals are great when needing to quickly look at expenses vs. income.

Online Resources

  • Mint.com: A free website that tracks spending and income. It offers charts, tips to cut back on expenses, and weekly updates. It also has the same security and encryption settings as bank websites so you can be ensured your information is protected.
  • Kiplinger Budget Worksheet: A simple to use worksheet to help structure your budget. All you have to do is enter in the information and hit submit. Kiplinger calculates everything for you. Kiplinger is one of the best websites to consult when it comes to financial matters.
  • Smart About Money-Resource Library: Offers various articles on money, and personal finance. Articles are easy to understand and follow.

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    • CapstoneTrends profile image

      CapstoneTrends 

      6 years ago from Outside Boston, Massachusetts, USA

      Good stuff. Yeah I agree-- just the act of writing down what you are trying to accomplish with the budget helps make it work!

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