Keep it simple. Be sure to set realistic and attainable goals. Start by identifying your budgeting goal, maybe to buy a house or start saving money for retirement, and then create a realistic plan to achieve this goal. Keeping your goal in mind will help you stay focused as you learn to budget more effectively.
Blast budget-busters. Knowing your weaknesses is key to budgeting successfully. If you are battling a late-night QVC addiction, back away from the remote. If you have a weakness for shoes, limit trips to your favorite shoe store to once a month. Identifying habits that tend to get you off course is a great step towards better budgeting.
Make it worth the wait. To avoid making impulsive purchases, try waiting seven days prior to making any large purchase. These seven days in-between finding the item you want and taking it home with you give you ample time to compare pricing, shop around, and make sure that this purchase represents the best possible use of your money.
Leave wiggle room. A budget that is too rigid is a recipe for budget failure. Pad your budget to allow for unavoidable, last minute expenses. These funds can go towards infrequent bill such as oil changes or towards unexpected expenses like replacing a flat tire.