Free Home Budgeting Program

Tips a free home budgeting program that will work with your lifestyle.

Budget is not a dirty word, and doesn't have to be the cause of serious fights. Learn how to set up a budget that works for you, not against you. The reason for having a budget is not to cause problems, but rather to help you see where your money is going, and where you can cut corners comfortably.

The first thing you need to do is get in the habit of writing down every penny you spend. A small notebook that you carry in your wallet, or purse is ideal for this. Don't forget to include the coffee you stop for every morning, or that soda you have in the afternoon at work. If you can keep track of the pennies, you will be well on your way to keeping track of your larger bills.

After at least a week, or more preferably a month, list all of your expenses in groups. Your groups can be work related, meals, utility bills, insurance, home, car, or any other groupings that make sense to you. Remember this is for you, no one else is going to be looking at this so if you want to call your morning coffee a meal, then do so.



After you have listed all your expenses, and grouped them, total it all. Hopefully it is less than your income, if not we will get to that part later. Look at your list, and double check that you haven't forgotten to list expenses that you don't have on a monthly basis, such as school clothes or tax payments. It is a good idea to walk away from your budget at this time, and come back to it in an hour or so, this way you can see things that you missed the first time.

Now list your income, your paycheck, if you save cans and sell them, if you do side work and get paid for it. Anything that brings money in on a somewhat regular basis. Don't include income from things like lottery winnings, that is too irregular.

Compare the income and the expenses, if the expenses are larger than the income, you are going to have to look at cutting corners. The easiest place to cut corners are on the discretionary expenses, for example the grocery bill, or the entertainment expenses. Your fixed expenses such as mortgage, or rent, car insurance, utility bills can be lessened a little, but for the most part will stay the same.

Small savings will add up, if you figure that one day a week you bring your lunch from home, your savings will be about $5.00 a week, and then added to only getting one soda from the machine at work a day, rather than the two you usually do, the total savings for the week will be about $7.50, times 4 weeks in a month, that is $30.00 for another bill, maybe a small utility bill or paying extra on the credit card bill.

You don't have to deprive yourself of everything that you enjoy, but cutting back a little will help. Using coupons at the grocery store, and shopping for sale items will help cut your grocery bill. You can also limit your entertainment expenses, go to a mantinee showing for movies, the price is usually half of the evening showings, the extra you save could be used for another movie, or towards something that you really need, or want.

Make your budget work for you, not you work for your budget. Everyone's spending habits are different, and as long as you are living within your means you are doing fine.

You should plan on saving about three monthes worth of expenses, for emergencies. This could be important if something should happen, you lose a job, or become ill. Again this will depend upon your individual spending habits. Think about the things that are important to you, and go from there.

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