Budget Tips

  • Make impulse buying difficult (leave checkbook, credit cards at home)
  • Make savings an “expense” item
  • Make debt repayment an “expense” item (this is what credit counselors do for you)
  • Have some fun money for each family member
  • Budget for a fun item (vacation, toy)
  • Don’t over categorize your budget (i.e. do not make too many “expense” categories)
  • Don’t divide couple’s paychecks functionally
  • Use an interest-bearing checking account, if possible
  • Create an “expense” item to pay off credit card balances
  • Pay off the highest interest rate cards first
  • Don’t use credit cards again until balance is paid off
  • After a loan is paid off, keep paying the loan amount to yourself (make a vacation fund, or next car fund)
  • Set aside money monthly, for bills that are due quarterly, semi-annually, or yearly
  • Reconcile your budget at least once a month when reconciling your checking statement
  • Make sure to mark your last reconcile point in your budget
  • Try to get utilities or banks to change due dates of bills to make your work easier
  • Remember, just the act of identifying your expenses is extremely valuable. This is commonly referred to as “tracking” your expenses. But remember, this is only half of the
  • Budgeting equation. Tracking expenses is analogous to just looking in your “rearview mirror” for information. You have to learn to look ahead and see what is coming too!

Copyright 2006 Reprinted with Permission of Tulip Tree Press and Jane E. Chidester and John L. Macko, authors of “BudgetYes! 21st Century Solutions for Taking Control of Your Money Now!

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