Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How to Develop a Monthly Spending Plan

Budgeting is not always something that is easy to do. If you have not had any real practice or need to do it before now, it can be very difficult to get started and stick with. However, if you are dedicated to taking better care of your financial situation and working through a time that requires more specific budgeting, than you should find some tips to be helpful along these lines.

Assess The Situation
You need to first determine all of your expenses throughout a given month. This will require a bit of time to compile this information. You might take a month and determine all of the places and all of the items that you are having to purchase and maintain within this time. Recurring charges, like subscriptions and such, should all be accounted for within this time as well.

Purchase A Calendar

You might want to buy a physical calendar, or at the very least print off sheets for a year's worth of days. This will aid you in keeping track of where your money needs to go and how much you actually need for upcoming weeks as far as you can predict this in the future. Digital calendars are less effective because they are not checked as readily as something hanging on the refrigerator or some highly accessed place in your home.

Stick To Your Guns

This is not something that will be easy especially if you have no real practice with budgeting before. It can be tempting to borrow money from this week and push off this bill with the assumption that money can be obtained before it is actually going to get shut off. So one key is to stick to the plan that you have created on the calendar. Diverting from this plan can be detrimental to your budgeting success.

Categorize

Sometimes you just want to limit the amount of money that you are spending in specific areas, so that you can free up money for future things. For example, you might buy 10 digital albums online every single month. However, in your effort to save money, you have limited this amount to 6 albums. One effective means of putting a specific limit on the spending per month in various areas, is to create folders or envelopes that have money in them in a safe place within your home. This money is the amount you have allotted for this particular spending area. When this money is gone within the month, you wait until the next month to spend more.

Of course there are digital versions of all of these ideas in various apps and through online banking outlets. However, if you are not sure that these will be as effective as manually monitoring the spending yourself, the ideas labeled above should be able to help you along these lines. You should be able to take the above mentioned ideas and apply them to your current budget plan or the layout of upcoming paydays. This will help you make a credible plan to both save a little bit of money and prevent overspending in specific areas.

Carole Haverford writes about finance, technology & more at http://www.dentalinsurance.net.

4 comments:

Cassie said...

I have a calendar where I write down when specific bills come out. It has helped us out so much!

Sippy Cup Mom said...

These are such great tips - thank you!!

Christa @ Little BGCG said...

I need to book mark this, I desperately need to create a budget!

Kerri said...

Great advice for creating a budget!