How Do You Set a Budget?

Do you have a household budget? Perhaps it is something you know you should have, but you have never taken the time to put one in place. With prices going up and struggling to stretch your paycheck, chances are that even if you have a budget, you are having to work a bit more at couponing in order to continue to stay on track. Of course, if you have not up a budget, then with living costs increasing, you may be struggling even more. So, with that in mind, here are some tips for setting up a household budget:

  1. Make a list of all your monthly costs that have a set amount you pay (these are the items are referred to as "fixed")
  2. Make a list of the expenses you have where the cost may fluctuate (power, heating, transportation, groceries, entertainment, clothing etc.)
  3. Be sure the list includes items like vehicle/home maintenance cost, savings account deposits, college funds, etc.
  4. Write down what your Take Home pay is
  5. If your expenses exceed your income, you have a problem! Start looking for places where you can reduce your expenses. This may include changing service providers, spending less on entertainment, using more coupons and with more regularity or any other saving money techniques you can think of.

Once you have established a budget, be sure that review it regularly so you can make sure that you are staying on track. There are several methods you can use to help you keep up with your budget. These include keeping careful records using your check registry, maintaining a close watch on your bank account using tools provided by your bank, or perhaps purchase Quick Books which  comes with a plethora of budgeting features.

Of course, the best thing about a budget is that it helps you not only manage the daily, weekly and monthly expense, but can help you plan for the future as well! So, when you use coupons you are able to put more aside for the times when meeting your budget might be more difficult. So, Coupon Claim readers, what budgeting tips can you share? Do you have any great ideas for getting more from your money? Why not share your favorite money saving and budget stretching tips? We would love to hear from you!

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