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How to Create a Monthly Budget and Stick to It

Creating a monthly budget is easy; sticking to it is easy, as well. To create a monthly budget, one needs to acquire a firm grasp on his or her available funds. Also helpful is a clear idea of the purpose for creating a budget and an idea of how any resulting savings will be used.

Folks have a wide variety of reasons for budgeting and saving. Some popular reasons include college savings, new automobile purchases, vacation dreams, home attainment and emergency funding. The person can create a rough draft of a budget using the following guidelines:

Calculating Disposable Income

Disposable income is the amount of money a person has left after he or she pays the monthly bills. An individual can calculate this figure by adding up all monthly income and subtracting all monthly bills. Next, the person must deduct the amount of money that he or she plans to spend on day-to-day survival and recreational activities. The cash that survives that calculation can go into a savings account. Once the person has decided on a weekly savings figure, then he or she must take steps to stick to the budget and the savings plan.

Sticking to a Budget

Sticking to a monthly budget or savings plan requires will power and honest desire to better one’s life. A good tactic for sticking to a budget is envisioning the desired goal. For example, a person who is saving for a new home should spend time imagining what the new home will look like and all the attractive furnishings that he or she will place within the home. Picturing a pretty future will help a person to stay motivated to keep saving money.

Making Budget Revisions

One can always revise a budget and increase savings by cutting bills and staying away from unnecessary expenses. A person can decrease a cell phone bill by shifting from contract service to cheap prepaid service. A person can cut a cable bill by dropping unnecessary premium channels. The individual can cut the electric bill by turning off unused lights and accessories, swapping the central air for tiny fans, and switching to a cheaper provider if possible. Additionally, one can can cut fuel costs and recreational expenses using a multitude of smart alternatives.

A person who has a deep desire for budgeting can create a master plan as early as today. The process only calls for a pen, a piece of paper, and a thorough plan.


Preparing for the Holiday Season by Saving Now

Christmas and the late calendar holidays are right around the corner and consumers need to set their savings plans in motion in anticipation of a season where we all spend more than we make.

The best time to start saving for the holidays is three months before they occur. Therefore, consumers should start saving for Christmas in September. That gives them approximately 12 weeks before the explosive competitive sales that occur on Black Friday, which is at the end of November. The average shopping consumer with a four-person immediately family and an average-sized extended family will need to save at least $2,000 for a well-distributed Christmas offering. The following are some tips for saving money the 12 weeks before Christmas shopping hits big:

Open a Holiday Savings Account

Holiday savings accounts are for people who specifically want to save money for Christmas shopping. A multitude of banks offers these special accounts to their customers. Holiday savings accounts sometimes allow account holders to earn high interest on the monies they place into the accounts during certain times of the year. Such customers can use the money that they earn in interest to contribute to their Christmas spending funds.

Change Direct Deposit Options

Employers will often allow their employees to deposit their paychecks into their savings or checking accounts directly. Direct deposit options vary from employer to employer, but most systems allow the employee to distribute his or her check into separate accounts. Therefore, a worker could send a small portion of his or her paycheck into an exclusive Christmas fund account and conveniently forget about it until shopping time arrives.

Cut Down on Recreational Activities

A person who wants to maximize his or her savings for Christmas shopping should cut down on family recreational activities. Activities such as movies, dining, shopping and vacations should cease during the holiday saving period. A family can still partake in fun activities that cost nothing. For example, nature walks and free local music concerts do not cost a thing.

Perform Side work

Side work can provide a shopper with an excellent source of additional income for Christmas shopping. Examples of payable side jobs are babysitting, snow shoveling and small auto repairs. A person who has a full-time job can find a wide variety of work opportunities online, as well. Many companies use contractors to fill their needs for salespersons and customer service representatives. A consumer can easily save $2,000 in 12 weeks for a splendid holiday shopping adventure.


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