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Budget: Creating/Living With

Step 8. Tweak The Budget As Time Goes Along

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At least once a month, compare your actual spending to your budget. If you use the "pocket-money" technique described above, you'll only need to keep track of your receipts for items not purchased with cash. Otherwise, keep a small notebook to detail your spending on a daily basis or keep track on your smart phone.

Keep in mind that your budget is only a road map. Keep it flexible. Read Setting Personal Goals for motivation. Keep your eyes on the goal, whether it is to have an emergency fund, to go on a dream vacation, to work less, or have money put aside for your children.

Change your budget any time you need to.

If, after six months or more, you can't meet your budget despite your best efforts, consider whether it may be the budget, and not your spending habits, which are flawed.

If your income increases, try to save the entire increase.

Similarly, if someone in your household returns to work after a period of being unemployed or disabled, try -- if possible -- to save all of their extra income..

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