Budget GettyImages 475149013 WP

Budget Tips and Tricks

See a penny, pick it up.  Save that penny, you’ll have a buck.

Are you struggling to stay within a budget? Do your pennies not stretch as far as you would like? Did you know you should have 3-6 months of income, ideally more, available to you for emergencies at all times? We all need to plan for the future.

Here’s an easy budgeting formula you can use.  It’s not perfect, but it sure helps.  I’m using a monthly income of $5,000 in this example, but you can substitute any amount and calculate to fit your needs.

Create a budgeting worksheet of your own using your monthly budget

Housing Costs
(mortgage, rent, home equity)
15% $ 750
(property, sewer, water)
4% $ 200
(home, car, rental, life, dental, vision)
9% $ 450
Household Expenses
(electricity, phone, cable, social)
6% $ 300
(home, cooking, vehicles)
6% $ 300
Debt Payments
(credit cards, charge accounts)
7% $ 350
(co-pay, deductible, prescriptions)
2% $ 100
Food & Groceries
(groceries, fast food, restaurants)
10% $ 500
Vehicle Costs
(loan, repairs, tires, maintenance)
7% $ 350
(clothing, footwear, dry cleaning)
2% $ 100
(home repairs, maintenance, appliance & equipment repair)
4% $ 200
(emergency, retirement and dream accounts)
10% $ 500
(college account, current college payments, federal or state loans)
4% $ 200
Child Care
(day care, summer camps, sports)
11% $ 550
Pet Care
(vet, food, maintenance)
3% $ 150
TOTAL 100% $ 5000
Wordpress Table Plugin

If you don’t have a need for one of the accounts, just move that expense amount to a savings or retirement account.

Here are some other tips for saving or to help pay down debt:

  • Pay yourself first
  • Be strong and disciplined
  • Pay ahead on credit accounts
  • Sell what you don’t want or need
  • Give up one thing that costs and save that money
  • Plant a garden; eat in the summer and freeze for the winter
  • Make a weekly menu; shop and cook in bulk and use for several meals or freeze for a later date
  • Minimize use of pre-packaged foods