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Easy Tips for Starting a Home Budget

Oct 12, 2007
A home budget is often considered a frustrating venture into the world of managing money. Getting into the habit of following a budget might seem like a chore, at first. This is especially difficult for people who are impulse buyers and free spenders. But using a budget can end up saving plenty of money, if you take the time to learn how to live with one!

The first step in setting up your home budget is to write down all your income and expenses. Try to include upcoming expenses or those that occur only once a year. By including them now, the bills won't be a surprise and the money to pay them will be readily available. If you're not sure how to set up a home budget, plenty of free forms and guidelines available online will help you get started.

Always include "fun" money in your budget. A budget isn't there to restrict your spending or cut out all the entertainment. Rather, it helps you see at a glance where your money is going. It allows you to manage income and expenses far more effectively. You may also discover that what seems like small purchases add up to big money. This helps you curb costs and redirect money towards better expenditures.

To help you stay on track with your home budget in the first few weeks, stop carrying cash. It's easy to pull out a twenty when something catches your eye. The less cash you carry, the harder it becomes to make that unnecessary purchase. Even a dollar here and a dollar there add up quickly. Before you know it, the cash you had is all gone.

If you prefer paying with cash over debit or credit cards, decide before you leave home how much you need. Only take that much and no more when you go shopping. You can't spend what you don't have!

Using a list is one of the best ways to stay on track with spending, especially in places like the grocery store. Training yourself to follow a list for purchases helps you eliminate impulse buys. Also, a list helps direct your course through the store. Wandering about is just what store owners want you to do, it increases spending and makes them more profitable.

Using a budget doesn't mean you have to become a coupon-cutter, but coupons do add up to big savings in the end. Clearance stores and discounted items also lead to savings. That money could go towards a reward for yourself, like a trip or a night on the town. It's important to remember to please yourself, even if you are on a budget. You just have to be careful with your spending and keep your eye on the prize!

Really, a home budget isn't about tracking spending and income. It's about self-control and sticking to a plan to achieve a result. A home budget helps retrain your thinking to avoid wasting money in light of other, better goals.

If you find sticking to your home budget difficult, use the buddy system. When faced with the urge to buy something, call your budget buddy. Ask the person if he or she agrees with your desire to purchase the item. They'll help distract you from the craving to spend and help keep you on track. Even better, take the person shopping with you!

A new habit takes about two weeks before starting to settle into permanent behavior. Getting into the habit of sticking to your budget is worth the effort. Before long, you'll be seeing a definite change in your spending and more money at the end of the month. You'll have a good feeling about yourself, proud of what you've accomplished. You might even be amazed at how much money you've saved!
About the Author
Mike has been online since 2004. He can show you 3 simple steps to turn your Internet Marketing Business profitable. http://www.profit-unlimited.com/info/l/pips_one. Mike also publishes "Profit-Unlimited Home Business Weekly". Take a look and receive some bonus ebooks.
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