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Forming a Good Budget
by Martin Lukac
Everyone makes budgeting mistakes. It can take several trial and error months to get it all right. Budgets are constantly evolving. You have to work hard to find one that works for you. But there are mistakes you can avoid.Here are the top

Everyone makes budgeting mistakes. It can take several trial and error months to get it all right. Budgets are constantly evolving. You have to work hard to find one that works for you. But there are mistakes you can avoid.

Here are the top nine mistakes that people make when budgeting:

Mistake #1: Using preset categories that fit someone else's personal spending habits, not your own.

You can't cookie cutter yourself into what anyone says your finances should be. Work with your spending and your goals to form a budget.

Mistake #2: Inaccurately setting your income level.

Look at what you are making right now. What is your take-home pay? Don't project your future bonus into your income until the bonus is in your hands.

Mistake #3: Too few categories

You can't have a budget that doesn't allow for groceries or gasoline money. It isn't an accurate picture of your spending. Have categories for each of your costs. You don't have to be detailed down to the cent, but don't leave things out.

Mistake #4: Forgetting yearly expenses.

Remember to include the expenses that don't occur on a monthly basis, such as personal property taxes, service contracts, homeowners insurance and so on.

Mistake #5: Not tracking your cash spending.

Cash is one place where money leaks right out of a budget. It disappears really quickly and, often, you can't remember where it went. Make sure you right everything you spend down or keep receipts for record keeping later.

Mistake #6: Forgetting to budget in savings.

You need to treat your savings just as you would any bill that must be paid. Remember, pay yourself first? That applies to your budget. Take out the savings before you spend money.

Mistake #7: Not sticking with it.

Budgeting takes a commitment and a good attitude. You have to be willing to review and change your budget as needed. You need to look at it several times a week to keep it fresh in your mind. Make it a priority. After all, it is the one way your financial goals will be realized.

Mistake #8: Writing unrealistic goals.

Budgeting isn't all about your spending. It's about your goals. You may be wanting to save for a house, buy a new car or get out of debt. Others are looking to retire well and put their kids through college. Whatever your goal, you need to set it realistically. Sit down and really look at what you will need to do to reach your goal. Then put your plan into action.

Mistake #9: Feeling bad over mistakes.

We all stray. It happens. Budgets aren't set in stone and can be evolved. If you are feeling guilty about constantly breaking your grocery budget, perhaps you aren't overspending, you are simply underbudgeting. Remember, you have to spend money sometimes. Do it and get on with getting your budget to work for you. Keep moving forward towards a budget that will work for your goals and finances.

Martin Lukac (, represents and, a finance web-company specializing in real estate/mortgage market. We specialize in daily updates, rate predictions, mortgage rates and more. Find low home loan mortgage interest rates from hundreds of mortgage companies!

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