There's been lots of threads on budgeting for everyone's personal situations... Does anyone have any real concrete tips for beginning budgeting?
Specific tips that can help anyone and everyone regardless of their situations? Maybe if we gets lots of good general "how to start budgeting/budgeting 101" tips we can make this a sticky!
I know I get overwhelmed when I look at trying to start budgeting. And this is something that is high on my "2013 Goals: Organize, house and money and get Healthy, financially and physically". But no matter how many times I try and read financial info or budgeting blogs or books (gotta loves Gail and Dave), I get overwhelmed and need things broken down into very small easy to start and understand steps :)
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All I do is use Excel to make a spreadsheet!
Something simple like this:
Single, student mama to 3 boys
I think the first step in anyone making a budget it figuring out how much you are currently spending. For us, that meant three months of obsessively recording every expenditure.
After you so that, it's much easier to figure what you are spending, what you feel is reasonable and the changes you need to make. If you look at see you're spending $300/month on eating out it may make you feel sick and cut back, it may make you appreciate how much you enjoy eating out... at least you *know* where your money is going.
Agreed. The #1 best way to start a budget is to just track what you are currently making and spending over a 1-3 month period. Then make a list of your top three finance goals (paying off debt or savings for vacation or an emergency fund, etc..). Once you know where your money is going you can start to adjust your spending to work towards your financial goals. We prefer using the envelope method of budgeting because it's easy to see if we have money to spend on something or not. We use Neobudget.com to track all of our spending and love the front cover where you get a bird's eye view of each category so we know exactly where we need to adjust our spending.