Making a budget for your yourself or your household is more about the commitment to improving your finances than it is about actually sitting down and writing out your family budget. In fact, it is more about having the will to save money, or should I say having the will power not to spend it.
With that said, budgeting is an important part of learning how to better manage your money. If you’re serious about improving your finances, then here are some steps you can take to help you make a budget and improve your finances.
Manage Your Bills. One of the most important parts of managing your money is to manage your bills. Make sure that you have a good grasp of when your bills come in and don’t just pay them without first making sure they are accurate and that you have done your best to reduce each bill. Sometimes picking up the phone and asking for a better rate can reduce your bills, especially for services like television, phone or internet bills. For me, I created a checking spreadsheet that I have used for years to manage my monthly bills and to keep my finances organized and up to date.
Find Ways to Save Money. Once you’ve got your bills under control its time to find some creative ways to save some money. Literally, there is no end to how much money you can save over the long run if you keep finding new and creative ways to save. If you’re willing to make lifestyle changes to save money, there are even more options to save. Note that many methods take months to start saving you money, so get started today.
Use a Budget Worksheet. Once you’ve made some decisions about how to spend your money more wisely, it’s time to find some budgeting tools to help you record and track your monthly budget. Of course, we offer a free budget worksheet that you can use, but we also list several other top household budget worksheets that may work just as well for you. Download whichever copy you like the most and start using it. Remember that with a little spreadsheet skill, you can really turn any spreadsheet into your own personalized budget.
If you don’t like using spreadsheets, don’t worry, there are lots of budget tools and free budgeting software that you can also try. Although software is less flexible, a lot of it is automated and if used properly can save you some time gathering your budget information each month.
Keep At It. Just like any excercise or diet program, you have to stick to your budget program. Use your spreadsheet or software to help you track your spending and to look for new opportunities to save money. Over the months, you’ll find that your finances will continue to improve. It’s important that you don’t give up, especially if you have a bad money month or two. Keep the faith and you can stay motivated to improve your finances!
Do you have any advice to add? If so leave us a comment.