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How To Effectively Follow Your Goal on Budgeting

                                                GUEST ARTICLE
To effectively reach goals in life, you must first map out a clear plan of action. A personal or family budget goal is no exception. To attain a desired goal, such as purchasing a new car, home or living debt-free, you’ll need a plan to follow so you can reach your goal on budgeting. Follow these tips to get started towards effectively setting and following a plan that will lead to your goal on budgeting.

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Family Meeting
Start your goal-setting with a family meeting. Gather the family together and discuss how much money comes into the household and how much goes out on a weekly or monthly basis (if you live alone or if this is a personal budget, gather your check stubs and bill receipts). Then brain-storm for ideas on ways to increase income and decrease spending. Even the youngest members of the family should be involved in this start-up process so they can begin to learn the value of a dollar.

Make a Plan
After discussing expenditures, like food and energy costs, make a plan of action on how to cuts those costs. Setting a generic goal like ‘cut down monthly grocery bill’ will not help you effectively follow a budget. The plan must be concise and doable (if the money-saving steps are too difficult, no one will follow them). For example, set a goal of eating out one less time each week by cooking an inexpensive family meal to take its place, or opt to have a ‘meatless Monday’ to save a few dollars on the monthly grocery bill. Each dollar that is saved by making a plan and working the plan should go into a special savings account and spent only towards the agreed upon budget goal.

Have a Goal
Why do you want live by a budget? A clear, desirable and attainable goal will help you stick to a budget when you get the urge to splurge. That goal can be anything you and your family agree upon, such as braces for little Johnny, a family vacation to Walt Disney World or to be debt-free in five years. Keeping your eyes on that goal will help you stick with it when the going gets tough.

Make Saving Fun
A little family competition will make saving money fun and increase the savings. Play games to see who can save the most money each week or who had the best idea to increase household income. Compare notes once a week and give kids non-monetary rewards for turning out lights, turning off water and packing their school lunches, all of which will save money.

Limit Spending
Limit impulse purchases by setting a limit on the amount of money which can be spent without consulting your partner. If you have to stop and take time to discuss buying a pair of $150 pair of shoes with someone before you buy them, odds are you won’t make the purchase unless they are absolutely needed. The spending limit can be as low as $20, make the limit comfortable and doable so it will help you effectively follow your goal on budgeting.

 

Author Pam Johnson is very money conscious. She is currently going back to school for her MBA online and doing in affordably. She is a contributing author for affordable mba programs

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Posted by on January 22, 2013 in Articles

 

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Money-Savers That Turn Into Money-Wasters

Frugal living has become the mantra for people  since the rise of costs of living and Great recession started,  although some of people have been wisely frugal for their whole lives. However,  all money-saving tips are not equal. Sure, taking your lunch to work is a quick ways to save about Tshs. 5,000 to Tshs. 10,000  every weekday, but some other  methods for saving your pennies could end up costing you more than you  realize.

Skimping or Cheating on  Insurance
Before you cancel your insurance policy, you need to think  hard about the consequences. A damaged third part insured vehicle or a damaged home could cost a  lot more than the money you save on your insurance premiums. Raising your  deductible through a bank could be a better way to save, but make sure you can really pay that  deductible without incurring costly debt and bank charges. 
Buying  Things Just Because They’re on Sale
Frugal shoppers live for sales  and discount coupons, but don’t get so caught up in the sale that you end up  buying things you don’t need. Stock up on items you really use when they’re on  sale, but never buy something you wouldn’t purchase if it wasn’t on sale. You’ll  end up with a houseful of unwanted items and then may not have the money  available for something you really need. Ladies you know what I mean, we ran to buy discounted shoes and clothes that we do not even need.
Driving Extra for a  Discount
Sometimes you can’t see the forest because of the trees. If  you are focused so much on saving a few shillings per litre of gas, using a  coupon at a distant store or finding a better price at a store 20 miles away  defeats the purpose. Don’t forget to calculate how much you are spending on the  extra gas needed to get there. You’re also adding miles to your possibly  overworked car. A friend of mine drive all the way to town from Mikocheni to buy Us dollars for her DSTV bill because she claims DSTV exchange rates are bad, by a 5 shilling per dollar, you are driving to town to save TShs.400/- for a Usd 80 monthly DSTV bill. Not so clever!
Skipping  Car Maintenance
Car maintenance is one expense many people like to  skip, but the lack of routine maintenance can end up costing thousands of shillings in car repairs. You may even have to replace your damaged  car.
Not Funding Your  Retirement Account
If you’re scrimping and living from paycheck to  paycheck, the idea of skimming money off that check for a far-off retirement can  be daunting. We all know the Social Security fund  saga going on in our country.
Think about this: if you put away a few shillings everymonth for  years, those shillings will eventually turn into thousands. Plus, you may be  reducing your tax burden by using pre-tax shillings for the social security contribution (Employee’s share of contribution). If you  have an employer who’s matching your contributions you are throwing money away  by not at least saving the maximum match amount.Employer might convice you to get more by avoiding NSSF he is saving while you are losing his part of contribution.

 

Buying Cheap  Items

Cheap clothes, cheap shoes, cheap hardware items and cheap  electronics are all readily available, but if you find yourself replacing them  often you may end up spending more money than if you had bought a good quality  item in the first place. Your better choice is to look for good quality items on  sale. Chinese items are playing a big part into this category! selling good looking bad quality items at a lower price!

 
Living Cash Poor
If you try to  save money by keeping only a small amount of cash in your wallet, you may end up  wasting money on ATMs. If you go to your bank and avoid ATM fees, that’s fine,  but many people end up spending around Tshs. 5000 every few days to pull out Tshs. 50,000 out of  their accounts.
Buying the  Wrong Groceries
While bulk grocery shopping can seem like a great  bargain, if you end up throwing away tomatoes that’s gone bad, you’ve  simply wasted money and food. Some people skip buying expensive fruits and  vegetables, but they could pay for that later on because they’ll need extra  vitamins and possibly have health issues.
The Bottom  Line While saving money on small things can add up to big benefits,  make sure the initial savings won’t result in unforeseen consequences in the  long run.
MF
 
 

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