How to budget?… Some general strategies are helpful in assisting families to set up a budget or budget better.

Here are ELEVEN more practical suggestions and tips from online users posted on the internet relating to family budgeting:

1.… …  Keep proper records

It takes time and requires a lot of self-discipline. Start each month with the balance and enter every payment, etc in advance, in the form of a calendar. It works well for most people due to the fact that they always have their actual working balance handy. Remember the comment about having your financial information at your fingertips? Here is a sure-fire way to get you on that path quickly.

2.… …  Calendar Calculations

Putting regular bills on a calendar based on due dates and when salaries are received proves helpful to some. This helps specifically to get everything paid on time and keep in perspective where the money actually goes, since all miscellaneous expenses are also recorded.

3.… …  Getting bills paid

Working out all the major and large bills (i.e. rent, car payment, insurance, etc.), dividing it up so every week, that amount is removed from the family ”˜pay’. Therefore, at the end of the month, there is need or risk to lose an entire pay to rent or car registration.

4.… …  1-2-3-4 Plan

Divide all bills weekly. A set amount goes to a savings account each week. When there is a 5th Friday in a month, you have a "free pay" to save.

5.… …  Open a household account

In a second checking account, deposit a sum that covers your monthly expenses. Have all of your bills automatically withdrawn. This account acts as a holding cell for household obligations - the primary account is for day-to-day operations.

6.… …  A timely budget

Get a notebook. List expenses and their due dates. Divide payments into small amounts & use labelled envelopes for payments and money storage. Reduce duplicate credit usage to 1 or 2 credit cards. Use the net for bill paying and to check your accounts.

7.… …  Yearly savings

Making a list of all annual or once-a-year type bills (car registration, shots for pets, school pictures, etc.) and divide them by 12. Save this amount each month and, when one of these items comes up, you have the money to pay it. No more surprises.

8.… …  Save credit card receipts

Keep an envelope in the car for the credit cards you use. When you buy anything using a card, put the receipt in the envelope as soon as you enter the car. Keep changing the envelope every month. This will save you time and hassle when looking for receipts.

9.… …  Only twice a month

Separate all bills to be paid on either the 1st or 15th of the month. This enables you to pay all bills at once and on time. An added bonus is that you will also immediately know how much money you have left over for entertainment, vacation and other discretionary items.

10.… …  Split into Savings and Cheque

Figure out a budget based on a savings account/cheque account split. Savings builds up for things like real estate taxes, vacations, and insurance. Write cheques monthly (e.g. phone, groceries, etc.). Split your monthly income into the savings and cheque accounts according to the budget. Savings amounts are strictly budgeted. The checking account is controlled by watching the balance until the next payday.

11.… …  Respect your partners need for financial security

Everyone likes to buy their toys, but the overall financial security of the household needs to be considered first. I am not against toys; just save up the money first to buy them versus putting non-essential day-to-day expenses on credit.

Moreover, on ”˜living within a family budget’, online users listed FOURTEEN more great practical suggestions on family budgeting:

1.… …  Stay busy after work

One "easy" way to avoid overspending and thus stay within your budget is to have something else to do after work. Get a second job that is fun, go to school, volunteer or get into great physical shape. The more you do, the less you will spend!

2. Watch those miscellaneous categories

Make sure you have enough well-defined categories to capture your true spending. Putting too much into a miscellaneous category makes it harder to track what you have spent and harder to control, especially the splurges!

3.… …  Need

If you did not know you need it, you probably do not. Do not buy things just because they are on sale. If you had no use or want for it before you saw it on sale, then you will have no use for it later.

4.… …  Save money for special occasions

It adds up how much you will spend on Christmas, birthdays, etc. Treat that total like it was a debt and make payments to a savings account for special occasions. Be sure to select a specific day of the month that your payment is due and stick to that amount.

5.… …  Don't Forget to Budget for Special Occasions

When forecasting your expenses, remember to include gift-giving occasions. Mother's Day, birthdays, Christmas, and anniversaries are good examples. If you plan to spend money on these occasions, remember to include this in your budget.

6.… …  Don't use a debt to get out of another debt

Do not take out a consolidation loan to pay off your other debts. The point is to get out of it, not to squeeze them together and end up paying interest on the loan while paying off your debts. Debt Fix can assist you with consolidating debts without the burden of another loan.

7.… …  Remember To Budget Time As Well

We have all heard "time is money." Well-spent time can be an investment. Take a few minutes to plan ways to save on bills - 15 or 20 min. researching lower rates on electricity or long distance phonecalls can pay off. You will know when time spent is not worth it.

8.… …  The envelope system

Total yearly/monthly bills, divide each into 12 months. Divide monthly amount into fortnightly payments. Use envelope for each bill; put in cash every 2 weeks. Use only the cash in the envelope until it is gone.

9.… …  Avoid expensive friends

Avoid friends who want to go for drinks all the time or suggest an evening at home. The money you spend on drinks and snacks, can buy something better, or go into your savings account.

10.… …  Keep Track of Your Expenses on a Daily Basis

I call the bank's automated line and do my banking every single night before I go to bed. I can see what debits from my debit card are posted and what my running balance is. This only takes about 10 minutes. Often people get into trouble when they try to keep a running total of what they have left in their head and get into trouble.