What's the most effective way to make and follow a personal budget?

What's the most effective way to make and follow a personal budget?

I'-ve always been good at saving, but now I'-m saving for a down payment for a home and I'-d like to get into the market as soon as possible to take advantage of the low rates. How do I save/budget faster and more efficiently??? Thanks!

Sean

I agree with Judy. I'll just add a couple of things.1. Quicken Personal is an excellent program, BUT only if you use it religiously. That is, you must enter all transactions and reconcile your checkbook each and every month.2. There are some items such as home owner's insurance or auto insurance which only send you a bill once or twice a year. You should accrue the expense. Let's say the insurance is $1,200 per year. Set up the following recurring monthly journal entry:Insurance expense___$100.___Accrued Insurance payable $100.When you write the check, take the charge (debit) against the accrued insurance payable.Other expenses are unexpected. For example a pipe bursts and you have to call a plumber. Therefore you need to put money aside for these unexpected items. Go back 24 months in your check register. Write down each and every unexpected item. Add them up and then divide the total by 24. Make the follow recurring journal entry in Quicken:Unexpected expenses ___________$xxx____Accrued unexpected expenses payable_____$100.When you pay an unexpected bill, charge the accrued unexpected expenses payable.

Guest

There is a program call Quicken Personal.It's a check resgister, but best of all its an all around money manager for your personal finances.It will give you pie charts and graphs of where your money is going.Ex: It will show you that you are saivng 20%It also has an excellent budgetting tool.Hint: A new tax credit is coming soon - don't buy just yet.The program sells for about 50 bucks at office depot or staples.Walmart has it for 30 - but it's hard to find.It's by the printers and printer cartridges - just look hard.Worth the investment if you are buying a home./

JP

Well, I think there are a lot of answers because you are trying to save money as well. The basic answer is very simple: the tighter you live, the more money you'll save. You can cut a lot of different things in your lifestyle to save money, like eating less, cancelling cable and other entertainment catagories, etc...Once you have figured out how frugal you want to be...Using a software spreadsheet doesnt work any better than writing it down on paper, its just easier to use.The key is to make yourself do it by creating your budget and giving your dollars a name before you spend them, or before the month starts. . You can use an envelope/cash system, where you allocate so many dollars for groceries that month, put that money in a "grocery only" envelope, and only use that money for groceries. If you run out before the month ends, tough. Drink water and eat bread.Make envelopes for all catagories like entertainment, gas and oil, cosmetics and household items, etc....If you go over your budget in one catagory, take it from another catagory and sacrifice in that area. Get the idea?There are alot of other strategies you can do with some research...You can go to the IRS website, use the withholdings calculator, and see how your taxes are sitting currently for this year. If it looks like you'll get a rebate, you can change your withholdings to see more money each month.... just an example.My finance rules are:1. Pay God first2. Pay myself second (savings/retirement accounts)3. Pay everyone else last (bills, services)Set up payments and savings/retirement deposits to be automatically withdrawed from your paycheck or bank account. This makes savings very easy because you never see the money.Good Luck

StickyWicky

I would definitely use one of the worksheets from the site below. The only way to save money is to stick to your budget and analyze your spending to figure out where you can cut costs. Best of luck in saving for your home.Source(s):http://www.budgeting-steps.com/budgeting…

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