Frugal Budgeting For A Brighter Future For Your Money 

Frugal budgeting or as I like to call it simple budget planning, is something I have now done diligently for at least ten years, well ever since a frugal living became a part of my every day life.

Since then I have always known exactly what my financial position has been and whether I need to make some adjustments to my spending.

It's been easier than I thought it would be as I am not very good with figures and the thought of slaving away over budget planning every month filled be with dread.

But once you have spent some initial time sorting out your plan, it's a breeze, you just have to update it every month and most importantly stick as close to your plan as possible.

Why is frugal budgeting so important?

The four main reasons for being in control of your money are:

  • Avoiding debt
  • Prepared for unforeseen events
  • Security
  • Happiness

The last one being the best one of course. Not having to worry about your finances and being in control, even if you do have some debt, is one of the most liberating feelings anyone can have. You are the boss of you, not your bank manager. You may not have a lot of money but you know where you are going and how long it will take you to get there.

What Does Frugal Budgeting Involve?

Basically you will have to look at all, and I mean all, of your out goings as opposed to your income. Sounds painful, but once you get started it can be quite interesting to really discover just where you spend all your money every month.

  • The first step is to set up your frugal budgeting template. This can be done in several different ways and it very much depends on the sort of person you are and what you feel most comfortable using.For instance there are online budgeting software that will help you to organise and stay on top of your finances as well as flagging up errors you may have made.Or you may feel happier setting up your own computer spreadsheet. Then of course there's good old pen and paper.

  • Spend quite some time thinking about all your out goings including ones that may be irregular like licenses and subscriptions. The more you can think of the better, but don't worry if you forget something it can always be included later.
  • Use your bank statements over the past year to see what has left your account to help you remember your out goings.
  • Keep your answers honest and as accurate as possible. It's no good guessing that you spend $20 a month on cat food if you actually spend £30. All that will happen is that your budget will end up totally useless and the only person to suffer will be you.
  • Include in the frugal budgeting plan future expenses like birthdays, holidays and Christmas. Decide on a budget amount for each of these and update your figures as you implement your frugal living plan to buy gifts throughout the year. This way you will not be tempted to spend more when the event arrives.

Personal spending

There also needs to be a column in your frugal budget for personal spending.

You know all those little things you buy on a daily basis that you don't even think about, like a bag of crisps here, a coffee there, or that weekly magazine you always buy.

However to really know what you spend on this, it is a good idea to keep a personal record of all your daily spending for about two weeks. It will really open your eyes as to just how much you are spending.

Now you have the tools to do something about it and to reset your personal spending limits which can be entered and monitored in your main budgeting plan.

A good way to keep to this new limit on your personal spending is to only take the cash you need for that day out with you and leave those cards at home too.

You may even find that because you are even more aware of the amount of money you have to spend that you are even more careful with it and might still have some left over at the end of each day. That's what happened to me.

Continued - More Budgeting Tips

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