What is one thing most of us all wish we had more of? I am willing to bet that most of are going to say its money. Why? Well we seem to think that money will take of our problems, desires, and needs. To some degree that is true. After all we do need it to pay for necessities like food, clothing, and shelter. Let's face it though; for most of us having enough money to accomplish all of our dreams or even just to stay afloat in this cut throat world is a constant struggle that takes up most of our time and energies. So I have decided to put out a few points and tips that could help those such as myself who are finding themselves in that sticky corner we sometimes call being in a tight spot!
Tip number one. Don't worry about what you don't have; concentrate on what you do have. We all have enough negative pressures in our lives already. Why stack more on your shoulders at this point. Sure; there are many things that we need to survive reasonably in this world but the fact is that many people do just fine on a lot less.
Tip number two. Sit down and create a budget for yourself. The trick here is to include in your budget sum extra money for things like having fun as well as an emergency fund. Often times when we think budget we look at only the bills we have to pay. When that happens budgeting becomes a burn out. You should only budget about 75% of your monthly income. Save the rest for all the times you want to get something or go out to eat. That way the budget is not so hard on you that you end up getting depressed or break the plan. The added advantage of only budgeting 75% is that you can feel good about yourself when you realize you have extra money in the bank still.
Tip number three. A budget should be used to take care of the things that need to be taken care of on a regular basis. Rent or mortgage, Utilities, gas, and groceries. Don't try to budget extra spending like eating out, movies, or even extra to pay off debts. If you have credit card bills or want to save for a vacation or some other item then add that into the 75% you are setting aside.
Tip number four has to do with your debts. Many times when we have credit cards or some other debt that we need to pay off we try to pay it off in large lumps or all at once. The best thing to do is to take the debts that are closest to their limits and double or triple the minimum payment. Never just pay the minimum. That will make it almost impossible to pay off. And don't worry about the high interest you may have. Even if you are paying it off in large sums it won't make much difference in the long run. This may seem like bad advice but I have seen many recent reports where experts give this same tip.
My last tip for creating a smart budget is all about how you set aside the money that you are budgeting. My best advice here based on personal experiences is to setup an auto pay system. Adjust your bills as much as possible to pay out within a day or two of your regular pay checks and when they post to your bank. Make sure you give yourself a cushion just in case your check comes late or falls on a holiday or something. Most utilities and even rental and mortgage companies will allow you and prefer you to use an auto-pay system. If they do not offer this you can usually set it up so your bank will pay them directly normally at no extra charge depending on what type of account you have. By doing this you will not accidentally dip into the money that is absolutely needed to get you by month to month. You can even have your bank transfer gas and grocery money into a different account to make sure you will be okay on those necessities.
I hope that all this will help anyone who needs it. I use it myself and most of the time things work out just fine even if extra expenses come up or the unexpected happens. We all run into tough times from time to time. Do not let it get you down. Keep looking at the good things going on and you will get through the tough times. By keeping the budget going even when you are not having a hard time it will also work as a good savings plan for the future. In the mean time; happy shopping!