Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Get Organized Month 2009 - Create/Update Your Budget

Have your income or expenses changed in the last year? If so, updating your budget may be in order. Or if you don't have a budget, you may want to create one.

The optimum way to create a budget is to look at your spending over the last year. If you do't use a software program or other means of tracking your spending, gathering tax info provides ample opportunity to do so. If you have inadequate records, estimate your spending patterns.

The tricky part is to keep your budget below what you earn!! It really is a reality check to track your spending. Without trying, you can easily find yourself in debt before you know it. And you may sacrifice immediate pleasure for future security.

Include in your budget short-term and long-term savings. Short-term savings is for replacing appliances, unexpected car expenses, etc., so you don't have to go into debt when you have an emergency.

Long-term savings is for a down payment on a house, retirement, college funds and such. If your employer has a matching retirement program, enroll!! Starting early provides exponential multiplication of your investments. Even if you think you can't possibly afford it, do it! If you wait until you can afford it, it may not happen.

Determine the categories to include in your budget and assign an amount for each. Don't forget to include occasional expenses - vacations, gifts, etc. Whittle down amounts until your expenses are less than your take-home pay.

It's a lot of work to create and maintain a budget, but it keeps you living in reality!

How do you manage your budget?