Budgeting is important for any successful venture-your home and family is most likely your most important venture of all. Thriving businesses use a budget to plan and grow, as we should to take care of our personal business.
Many people live paycheck to paycheck, with little idea of where their money goes. Paying rent or a mortgage is a reality for most people. Making a budget to understand where your money goes covers more than basic bills being paid every month. If you have a goal, and don't plan for it, you're likely to never meet the goal.
When making out a budget, many are not honest about where money is spent daily. Sometimes they are not willing to change habits, like buying 4 cups of coffee or soda while a day at work. Keep a record of every penny spent for one month if you want to see where money goes.
Do we really need to have 300 movies available at the push of a button? Eat out every day? Stop at the convenience or grocery store every day? An honest look at spending habits may show it is better to make one well-planned shopping trip per week, pack a lunch from leftovers cooked the night before, or even carpool to work.
If your income is under your outgoing funds-you're in trouble. Working on a budget can give ideas what areas need or can be cut back on. Insurance, utilities, food, transportation and entertainment are good areas to look at for ways to lower expenses.
Income may be found by selling unused items, babysitting, or a part-time job. Many ideas for extra cash to add to income are available with a little research and effort.
Even children can get a grasp of what is necessary to live, buy food and clothing or even pay the electric bill-if given the opportunity to learn. Use age appropriate methods such as giving them coupons in the grocery store, finding the correct items and rewarded with the amount "they" saved at the end of the shopping trip. At home, leaving a light on might cost a quarter or fifty cents.
A sense of accomplishment when goals are reached is good for everyone. Correct any mistakes in budgeting as you go along. A budget is adaptable to change when necessary, but don't change for frivilous reasons or your important goals fall by the wayside.
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