How to Have a Successful Budget

1. Determine actual budget
  • Track spending: every dollar

  • List Current fixed and variable expenses

  • List Current income
2. Determine where you want to be:
  • 6 months

  • 1 year

  • 5 years
Options: - Add to income: more hours, part time jobs, sell items

                - Reduce expenses

Ask yourself the following questions:

           - What can I do without?

           - What can I reduce?

Ways to reduce expenses:
  • Lower cost of HVAC (raise or lower thermostat)

  • Lower cost of Electric (fewer lights, turn lights off)

  • Become a better shopper

  • Prepare a menu for the whole week

  • Shop once a week

  • No impulse buying

  • Do not shop hungry

  • Eat out on exception only

  • Reduce cost of all paper products

  • Sell car and buy a cheaper used car

  • Perform routine maintenance (oil, lube)

  • Create a yearly clothing budget

  • Plan to buy during sales and closeouts

  • No impulse buying!
3. Insurance
  • Get estimates for all insurance

  • Check current insurance vs. needs

  • Work with capable insurance agent
4. Entertainment & Recreation
  • Plan vacation off season or at very beginning of season

  • Plan trips closer to home

  • Plan a vacation to suit your budget

  • Find fun activities that are inexpensive
5. Budgeting Hints:
  • Reconcile checkbook every month

  • Separate savings and checking accounts

    • Paycheck disbursement in each account

      • Checking for monthly bills

      • Money Market for annual or non-monthly

      • Vacation

      • Retirement

      • 3-6 months emergency fund

  • Analyze budget to see true impact of $6 per lunch per day or $200 month in restaurants

  • Control impulse spending

    • Large items – wait 3 days, pray

    • Small items – only in budget

  • Plan for blow money that each spouse can agree on

The success of your budget depends on the level of your determination and perseverance.

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.
Proverbs 24: 3-4

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