Trying to create a budget, but can’t figure out why you are so off track every month? Could be because your budget isn’t right for you. Many people just blindly create a budget based on some formula they encountered or template they found. Truthfully though, a budget will never work for you if you don’t spend some time finding out where your money is going.
When I met my hubby, we were both on very different “money pages.” If it was in my checking account, I was spending it. He was managing his money down to the penny with an elaborate spreadsheet and envelope system. I am pretty sure he was petrified to merge our finances. We began to look at how I was spending money and I was spending up to $500 a month on clothes. Man, I miss those days…I looked really good!
Needless to say, I needed to track where my money was going a bit better. Enter Microsoft Money. Most computers today are equipped with Money or Quicken and they make tracking money ridiculously easy. You enter your transactions either off receipts, your bank’s website, or chicken scratched scraps of paper (probably not the best way). You can create categories so you know exactly where you are spending. You can even make graphs and charts!! Then you can use Money to help you create a budget with their budgeting tools or create your own based on the categories you use most.
Only once you know where you are spending (and overspending) you can more realistically set a budget and stick to it. I would recommend tracking for around 4-6 weeks to get the most accurate picture.
For more frugal tips, check out Biblical Womanhood.