A budget is not the easiest plan to follow. At the very least, it takes some time to get used to monitoring every penny that you spend on a daily and monthly basis. This is actually why some people are not enthusiastic in submitting themselves to these plans. Not only do they perceive it to be restricting, they also find it to be a very tedious task to accomplish.

But if you are in debt or you want to save up for a house or any expensive purchase, you have no choice but to put yourself on a budget. This is especially true if you have a lot of credit obligations.

Budgeting may be tedious but if you choose the right system, it will be bearable. In fact, it doesn’t have to be tedious at all. It is highly suggested, though, that you list every little expenditure in the beginning. At least until you have finalized your budget. You need to analyze just how much you really need to survive comfortably. If you want it to be realistic, you have to list your actual expenses - and not just what you think your money goes to. It provides you with a more accurate analysis of how much should be allotted for every category expense. Your bills can be easily plotted but the expenses that you make on the side are usually what cripples your budget. These include the cost of dining out, shopping for clothes, buying produce in the market and even your grocery shopping. The expenses you make in the office should also be listed down. At the very least, you need to list a month’s worth of expenses.

Once you have done that, you will have a general idea of the categories and the amount that you can allot for each. It will now be a matter of sticking to that budget. How you will monitor your spending to ensure this will depend on the system that you will use.

There are various budget systems that you can use but we will concentrate on 3 types.

The first one is the traditional and the most tedious option. It involves carrying around a pen and small notebook to continue listing every little expense that you make. If you have a good memory, you can do this at the end of every day. Or you can jot it down as you make them. This is the most accurate way of monitoring your debt. However, the manual effort and the detailing is only appealing to the most organized of people. Most of the time, people do not like this and want it to be more automated.

The second budget system is more automated. You use an online budget system that downloads your bank transactions so you can see when you used your credit cards or put in savings into your account. While this is easier because of the automation, you may encounter problems with the downloaded financial transactions. Unlike the first system, it may not plot your activities in the right category so you may still have to shift it around a bit. However, this is more convenient because as long as there is an Internet connection, you can access your budget. You can even use a mobile application so it can easily be viewed.

The last budget is called the envelope budget system. You create your budget, get the total of every category expense and put that amount, in cash, in envelopes. The rule is to never spend more than what is placed in the envelope. This is not as tedious as the other two but this is best applied to cash only purchases.

You can choose to combine different budgeting systems if you wish. The important goal here to find the system that you know will help you stick to your budget.

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