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Budgeting..Yuck. 7 Ways to Make Budgeting Less Awful

by Peter J. Creedon

Few people like talking about a budget, no less living with one. Let’s face it, the word budget does not spark great excitement or enticing fantasies. It’s a negative buzz word and winds up being something like that New Year’s resolution, firmly resolved and soon forgotten. But a budget is a foundation to building financial control of your life.

Budgets can be boring, if you design it that way. If you consider it a guide and not a noose, you need to build in some fun: vacation, weekend stress relief or mad money to reward yourself. The goal is to know what you have and live within your means while enjoying life and not rack up credit card debt. Here are some tips on how to start:

7 Tips on How to Build a Realistic Budget and Stick with it:

1.Start with what you bring home in monthly income (after taxes) and outline what you pay out (expenses).
2. Look at your monthly expenses and statements, yes, all those ATM and coffee stops are necessary to consider. Take a few minutes at the end of the month and see how you are doing.
3. Set realistic monthly expenses and take into consideration how that would impact your long-term financial objectives.
4. Build in some fun expenses! You work hard and deserve a break.
5. Plan on some months being bigger than others, like your insurances are due on certain months.
6. Give yourself a target date to pay off bills and debt and stick to it. Target your pay off debt monthly.
7. Track your spending monthly to make sure you stay within your monthly expenses.

Remember a budget is a guideline. Adjust as necessary.
Having control of your finances allows you to experience life without dragging along a lot of debt. Debt focuses you on what you have done, you need to focus on what lies ahead.