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Money Budgeting - The Key To Financial Success

Aug 17, 2007
Money Budgeting is a phrase that either bores them too much, or makes them depressed. But, this is how successful people deal with money - they budget. It's a lesson that must be learned to succeed financially in this life. Here is some helpful information.

Many people are lured into the trap of spending more money each week than they are bringing in and most people are doing this without even realizing it. The main reason this happens is because we are no longer taught or remember how to budget our money. With the introduction of credit, it has become easier to use money that you don't actually have.

This lack of money budgeting in today's world is beginning to reach a cataclysm with many families, and individuals who are now finding themselves with severe debt problems and little knowledge about how to turn their bleak situation around.

Even with all of the bad debt write-offs, banks are more than happy with the way things are. Banks build in their own risk factors based on bad debt in their interest rates to give them profit regardless of bad debt write-offs. Simply put, those borrowing money are paying for their inability to budget effectively.

Tips to Effective Money Budgeting:

The basics of budgeting start with you listing incoming money over a period of time, such as a weekly, monthly or fortnightly, then listing the outgoing money, such as mortgage payments, car re-payments, credit cards and so on. Money budgeting also has many other factors used to make it effective, including keeping a constant eye on how your budget is doing and changing it to accommodate unexpected problems without overspending.

Keep all of your receipts and account for what has been spent. Use this to make calculations as to where your money is going and for what. Expenses can be divided into four main categories. These are:

-Housing: mortgage, rent, utilities, property taxes, insurance, etc.
-Work: transport, parking, work clothes, lunches and if you have children, day care
-Living: food, clothing, medication, insurance, etc.
-Personal: entertainment, newspapers, magazines, alcohol, gifts and education, etc.

Once you have categorized all of your bills, take out a blank piece of paper and a calculator. Figure out what is being spent each month on these categories and what can be cut out of the budget to allow more money to go toward bills or improving your financial situation.

Many people get so used to luxuries, they turn these things into fixtures in their weekly, fortnightly or monthly spending habits. By weeding these expenses out or making them a luxury again that is only enjoyed occasionally, you can also save quite a substantial amount of money. When you go through your spending habits, you will be able to calculate how much you are actually spending on these things.

Don't forget that a contingency fund should always be factored into any money budget. This works out to be around 10 % of your income. A contingency fund will benefit you when you need it the most, such as when you lose your job or have an unexpected expense such as plumbing go wrong in your home. This contingency fund should be kept in a separate savings account and only accessed in emergencies.

Motivation Is The Key:

Motivation is very important when you are budgeting. As an incentive to create a budget and stick to it, remember that the only way to regain wealth is by spending less money than you are receiving. The only way to spend less and do more with your money is to learn how to effectively budget it and stick to your plan.

Once you start to see the benefits of your budgeting and are rewarded with more money in your bank account after you have finished paying out, you will be more encouraged than ever to budget your money.

Another way to teach yourself to budget is to give yourself a solid incentive to stick to it, and make your budget work. You may make it your goal to get your finances in order, so that you can take a vacation or get something that you and your family really wants. Place reminders on your fridge or in your wallet. By doing this, you will be reminding yourself of the reason you have decided to sacrifice some of your luxury spending.

Although this sounds great, when you budget, you will have to learn to set aside any emotions that you may feel toward your budget. Examples of emotions getting in the way and interfering with a well planned budget is when you have to cut out the things that you want, such as weekend breaks away, toys for your children or new furniture, for a while, until you have arranged your finances for the better better.

If you have a family, try to keep them involved in your money budgeting and where the budget needs to be tightened to benefit everyone to exclude non-essentials, explain to family members why budgeting is important. This will help to educate those around you about the importance of budgeting and how budgeting can help you all obtain the things that you want, such as luxuries, without them being a financial burden.

Another trap many people fall into is getting into the habit of 'keeping up with the Jones' regardless of their own personal financial situations. After all, money budgeting is about your personal set of circumstances and your personal finances, not someone else's. Just because your neighbors have just bought the latest model car or had cable television installed, doesn't mean that you have to, pay attention to your budget and let it be your decider on whether you can afford the things that you want.

Budgeting is a vital skill needed to control your finances and avoid getting into serious debt. By educating yourself on how to budget effectively, taking the time to carefully plan a good budget and monitoring it regularly you will be able to keep yourself and your family encouraged to stick with it.

Set achievable goals and even though, at first, money budgeting may seem tough, it is the only way to have the things that you want, as well as a secure financial future.
About the Author
Ken Black is the owner of Debt Relief Today, a website all about money budgeting, credit counseling and Credit Card Debt Consolidation for those in need of financial assistance.
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