Dollar Sense: 10 Tips to Create a Household Budget that Works

Budgeting doesn't always mean having to tighten your belt.

J. J. Morgan
4-minute read


  • Distinguish Between Wants and Needs

    Buy what you need first. That means making sure you have food, water and shelter. Go grocery shopping before you go to the mall, and pay your rent before you buy that jetski you’ve been wanting for all of 36 hours. Wants belong in the “what’s left over” category.

  • Expect Changes

    There are always going to be unexpected fees and fines. You don’t know when you’ll get a traffic ticket, when your pipes might spring a leak, or when you’ll come down with a cold and need to co-pay for some antibiotics. A comfortable cushion that you only dip into during an emergency can help you cope with the unknown. For what you can foresee, try to look as far down the road as possible and establish which aspects of your finances seem more unstable than others.

  • Get Rid of High Interest Debt

    Focus on identifying high interest-rate debt and work on paying that debt off. This is a priority, no if, ands or buts about it. Your future budget should ensure that you are spending only what you can actually afford.

  • Find a System that Works for You

    Everyone has a different budgeting style and a different method of tracking their money. It could be the envelope system, a bank, online money management tools, or maybe a good friend or family member who will sit down with you and look things over. If your method works for you, use it.

  • Stick to It

    Creating and sticking to a budget that works won’t be easy, but in the end it will help you make the most of your hard-earned money. __________________
    Have budgeting tips of your own?  We want to hear from you! Please feel free to comment or give feedback in the box below!

  • Author Bio:  J.J. Morgan is a freelance writer , and Editor of Smexy Mom. She also Owns Parchment, a custom stationery boutique and online store catering to celebrity clientele since 1968.

    Budget image courtesy of Shutterstock