12 Jan 2010

Budget: 16 Gold Nuggets of Budgeting

I've spent a considerable amount of time finding out as much as I could about budgeting before I actually created one.


So I thought, others may find it useful  if I shared what I’ve learned while researching this topic for myself.

Couple of  things I want to point out before diving into the bottomless topic of budgets. I have:

- intentionally included only links to sites and services that do not require a paid membership or any other fees

- only included links to spreadsheets and online services that would work a cross the world rather than being suitable for a particular country.

- listed as many different sources of information as possible (rather than pointing you to the few most comprehensive ones).


The principles of Budgeting

You might think budget is budget is budget… but it’s not! There are many different ways to approach budgeting some of which are mutually exclusive. Here is a selection for you to consider:
  • My personal favourite: an video interview with a financial coach a spending plan (a different take on a traditional budget)
  • Budgeting for lazy – it really is
  • Quite a popular way to budget, initially developed in the 1930’ now being re-discovered and re-used all over the world. 4 Envelopes ; is, in my opinion, a great and simple way to stick to you budget over a long period of time!
  • A 60% rule  for budgeting

Budgeting Step by Step

  • Money Made Clear – an official UK website from Financial Services Authority. Written in a simple, clear language. Very user friendly!
  • If you rather watch and listen: here is a coprehansive eHow Guide to creating a budget
  • 10 Simple Steps to create a Budget - says it all, really
  • A simple take on a budget
  • A very comprehensive step-by-step overview of your budgeting process with a lot of helpful and informative links

 

Expenses

The part of your budget that is the easiest to get under your control and achieve quick wins. It’s worth exploring it in more detail.
  • An amazing article about hidden expenses – something to think about when creating your budget
  • A helpful article, that motivates you to cut some of your expenses and to feel positive about it

 

Income

Your budget consists of expenses and incomes.
I am not supporting any “How to earn more money” movements on the internet, hence just an overview

 

Emergency Fund

  • In the current budget thinking a must have in everyone’s budget – an emergency fund. Some refer to it “A F@#! this Job” fund that allows you to be lessdependent on you employer

 

Budgeting Tools

  • My favourite for its’ simplicity and comprehensives is the online version of the monisavingsexpert Budget Planner
  • Comprehensive, useful and well structured list of free excel templates available to use for personal budget
  • I dare to argue there is no other more comprehensive list of free budget templates and online tools (some of which are country-specific). Look no further, really!
  • A quick overview on how to budget using your online bank. This article focuses on ING Direct but it will work with any other bank, really!


And, yes, there is happiness even without budget!



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