If you’ve never set up a budget before, it can be overwhelming. You have to gather up your financial documents, figure out how much you earn and how much you spend, and then create a plan to follow.
And then you have to stick to the budget. And maybe you’ll have to tweak what doesn’t work.
But budgeting doesn’t have to be that hard. Especially when you just tackle one small area at a time.
By starting with one area of your budget, you’ll find the task much more manageable and you’ll see success sooner. For example, if you know you spend too much money on groceries, you may want to create a challenge for yourself. Set a goal (or budget) for the challenge and spend the month focused on sticking to your challenge. Then you can build on that success by taking on a new part of your budget the following month.
Work on your budget a little bit each day. Push yourself to work on some aspect of your household budget a little each day. You could use the time to balance your checkbook, track your expenses, or negotiate lower rates. By doing a little bit of work each day, you’ll get in the habit of taking care of your money.
Develop a record-keeping system that works for you. Budgeting is so much easier when you know where your papers and calculator are. Perhaps you need an expanding file holder or maybe you need a filing cabinet. Be sure to designate bill-paying zones and figure out what you need to file.
The most important thing you can do is to just make a move. Rather than getting overwhelmed by the complexity of an entire budget, simply start with one small move today. Then another tomorrow, and so on.
Once you’ve broken the process of budgeting into smaller tasks, you’ll gain confidence to tackle more money-saving projects.
This post is a part of Women’s Money Week 2012. For more posts about budgeting, see Budgeting Roundup.