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How to Live on a Budget

Most of us have trouble living on a budget. Unfortunately, we just have to make the best of things and learn how to do it in the way that works for us. This page has some tips for helping you to do just that. Check back; I'll be adding more. And remember, I accept tips from you for submission as well!

#1. Write down EVERYTHING you buy, even your A.M. cup of joe. This will help you see where your money is really going. When you determine areas where you could be spending less money, you will be able to adjust your spending

#2. Keep track of your expenses. Work out a system for setting aside money from each paycheck that you receive for paying bills before you caught up buying the things that aren't a necessity. Always pay your bills first before you pay anything else. Well, eat of course, but bills come before frills, always. My dad taught me this many year ago, and it has worked for us. In fact, we're debt free! We've eaten a lot of beans over the years, but I don't regret a single dinner of beans and cornbread.

#3. Set aside a set amount of money for other categories, such as groceries, clothing, etc. Do not exceed these amounts. Once you've spent your allowance for toiletries, for example, you're done until your next paycheck.

#4. Set aside money each pay period in an "emergency fund" so that you will have money available when something unexpected arises. Not having an emergency fund can wreck anyone's budget in one hit. It's easy to think you're doing fine because the paycheck is lasting until the end of the week/month. But, you just wait until the battery dies on your car next month. It'll wreak havoc with your budget. Scrimp and save, and put every spare dollar in an emergency fund until you have built up a cushion. We're big fans of Dave Ramsey, and to start, he recommends at least $1000, and it has really saved our budget more than once!

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