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10 Tips for a better budget by Bob Lotich

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on July 31, 2010

The first thing you need to learn before making a better budget is how to make a budget in the first place. Then go get a free budget spreadsheet or some free budgeting software. Once you have your budget started, these 10 tips will help you keep it in tip-top shape!

Make a better budget!make a better budget - coins.jpg

1. Know your budget-busters and stay away!

If this is the mall don’t go, if it is QVC, turn it off, if is buying stuff online – throw your computer out the window! (Well, not really ;) ).

2. Wait before purchasing.

Never buy large purchase items with out waiting a week to really be sure that it is the best use of your money.

3. Budget for Giving.

It makes it a whole heckuva lot more fun to give if you have the money sitting there waiting to be spent.

4. Make budgeting fun.

It is not a diet. Quit telling yourself that budgeting is just like a diet for you checkbook. In my opinion, the reasons that most budgets fail is because they are out of balance. Fun should be budgeted for. Going out to dinner, vacation, date night, etc.

5. Snowball it.

Once a debt is paid off, take that amount and either apply it to another debt (aka Debt Snowball) or to something fun (vacation fund, etc.)

6. Create a misc. budgeting category.

No matter how many categories you create, you can bet that you will have expenses come up that won’t fall into any of them. This is why it is a great idea to have a backup called miscellaneous.

7. Have fun money.

Have some money given to each family member that doesn’t need to be tracked and can be used for whatever he/she wants.

8. Combine budgeting categories.

Try combining categories to simplify the system. For example if you have money budgeted for car maintenance and car insurance, try putting them together in the same category.

9. Set money aside monthly for infrequent bills.

Just because a bill isn’t paid monthly doesn’t mean that it can’t be budgeted for monthly. If you pay car insurance every 6 months, just take that bill and divide by 6, viola! Now add that amount to your monthly budget, and when the next bill comes due, the money will be sitting there waiting!

10. Try budgeting with ING or another online bank.

This way you are earning interest on each one of your budgeting categories. Small amounts add up quick.

This is a reprint of an article I wrote for Bible Money Matters.

Article by Bob

Bob enjoys dark chocolate, paying off debt, giving, Foosball, loose-leaf tea, helping people succeed, learning, anything God created, playing guitar, doing things the “long” way, Philippians, excellence, Chick-Fil-A, and making his wife smile. He started ChristianPF in 2007 and has been having a blast ever since. Find him on Facebook & Twitter.

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