Do you ever wonder where your pay check went? How did you miss that bill? Why do you have more month than money? If this sounds like you, then Bella suggests getting a budget together ASAP. But how do you go about starting a budget? We recommend beginning with the Budget Kit Book. This will help you to:
-Plan upcoming known expenses for the year;
-Designate where your paycheck will go and to what bills;
-How to budget in gift giving (birthdays, Christmas, etc.);
-Establishing the families wants and needs should extra money become available;
-Establishing an achievable monthly budget and
-Debt Pay Off Schedule.
The Budget Kit provides you with handy forms and a twelve month record sheet to track your progress. Bella and her Husband swear by this. They began using this method back in 2007, and have managed to create healthy spending habits. To help them track their spending they use the FREE service provided by MINT. Mint tracks spending which helps them to input figures into the Budget Kit.
For groceries, gasoline and eating out we prefer to use the "envelope method". This entails taking a set amount of cash, dividing it into envelopes and only using that money for those categories. Doing this helps provide a concrete visual of where your money is (the envelope), where it is going (the retailers) and how much you have left (concrete reality - ouch!). Something which can be overlooked when relying on credit and debit cards.
Budgeting and debt payoff are not easy, its difficult to change spending habits. But if you have a sound simple structure, you should start to see results quickly! Below you can find products recommended by Bella to help you get started (just click on the picture to be redirected to Amazon.com):
For further reading be sure to check out these other posts, by A Budget Bella:
Why not make a little extra pocket money to help you with your budgeting, check out the right-hand coloumn, for free samples and reward sites. Bella has test driven them all and some give you $5 just for signing up!