10 ways to make a budget, and keep it (10 items)
Learning to budget isn't easy, but living it once you have one can be even harder.That's why the Deseret News has spoken to three self professed budgeting experts to help provide some tools and insights into not only creating a detailed budget, but applying one as well. The following are 10 unique but practical tips for living a realistic budget.
1 of 10. Budget backwards
First thing's first. In order to live your budget well, you should have a good system for budgeting.
To help us understand how to better plan for the financial future, the Deseret News received some advice from Peter Blatt, an investment advisor based out of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
"Look to see what you think you spend per month," he said, "then figure out why your number is lower than your actual spend. You will be surprised where all the money goes. It helps you reduce expenses."
2 of 10. Be exact
"Go food shopping with an exact number in mind," he told the Deseret News.
"If your weekly budget is $200 then do not spend more than $200 for the week. Bring a calculator with you while you shop (or smart phone with that option) and keep track as you go."
3 of 10. Change the temperature
"Keep your air conditioner two degrees warmer when you are not home," he told the Deseret News. "A digital thermometer can save you several hundred dollars per year. It keeps your heater and air conditioner more efficient when you are away from home."
4 of 10. Make it pretty
"Make your budget something you enjoy looking at and doing," she said in an email.
"This means using your creativity and putting in colors you like, adding pictures of the things you're saving for and writing inspirational messages alongside that boring old spreadsheet or list.
"It will make the experience that much more powerful when you see the fun side of it and understand the real
purpose of your budget every time you open it up."
5 of 10. Stay on top
“Don't put off repairs,” she said. “While it may be a stretch in the short term to cover certain household repair expenses, fixing something small before it becomes a bigger problem will end up saving you big time in the long run.
"Same goes for regular dental checkups and basic teeth work — so make that
appointment and keep it!”