There are many ways to make a family-friendly budget that caters to your individual needs. These are five ways to take the fear out of creating a monthly budget:
Visualize reaching the goal
Picture yourself walking around and smiling because all of your debt is paid off. Your credit card is in your wallet and it has a zero balance. You know how much money is in your checking account, and you even have some money in your savings account. Psychologists have found visualizing helps turn your ideal image into reality.
Set small financial goals
A small goal could be starting an emergency fund, paying down your credit card or saving for a down payment.
Setting overly ambitious goals is a surefire way of not doing what you set out to do.
Keep in mind that goals vary by generation. For example, surveys show people ages 25 to 34 are more concerned with saving for a home than any other age group.
Share your financial journey on social media
Announce your financial goals on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. You might even want to consider starting your own blog to connect with the strong community of supportive bloggers focused on budgeting. Let the world know your budgeting plans and show them your progress. This will help keep you accountable.
Track your spending
If you are new to budgeting, start by tracking your spending for three months to calculate an average. Focus on two main areas: How much money is coming into the household every month, and how much is going out. If you are shocked by some results, try and remember that the goal is to improve your financial life. Embrace it.
Compare your expenses to a 50/20/30 guideline. That's 50 percent for fixed expenses, things like the mortgage, rent, utilities, cellphones, etc.; 30 percent for fun, like dining out, movies, etc.; and 20 percent for financial obligations like extra debt payment, emergency cash and retirement. That should help focus your budget making efforts.