Learning to budget your money can be rather difficult, especially if you are one of those compulsive shoppers, who enjoys shopping and picking up items that are new and exciting. Realizing that you need to set up a budget is one of the first steps in making a change for the better. One of the first and most difficult steps in budgeting your money is to actually set up the budget. Write out every bill that you have for each month. Do not forget to include an entertainment or miscellaneous category. If you do not set aside money for these types of items, you will find yourself cutting back on other areas in your budget to make room for the fun things that you want to do. Once you have a list of all the things that you will need to pay for, you will need to decide how much money will be set aside for each category and from which paycheck each of these will be deducted.
A helpful hint in keeping to your strict budget is to no longer carry cash. We are often persuaded to buy items in the checkout that are on sale for only a dollar or two. This may not seem like a considerable amount of money but can add up when you visit several stores in a day. Not carrying cash can help to curb your compulsive shopping of little useless items. If you are someone that prefers to only spend cash, only take the amount of money that is necessary for your purchases. This will help to keep you from buying items in a store that you did not intent of purchasing. Purchasing little items can throw off your budget by up to 20 or 30 dollars a week.
When shopping, whether it is for clothes or groceries, always take a list with price estimations. Shopping for a week or two at a time can be a big help, as opposed to shopping for a day or two, when it does not appear that you are spending a lot of money, so you pick up extra added items. Plan out meals and snacks, so that you know how much you will need of each item ahead of time. Stick to your list. Check the sale ads before you go to the store, to know what is on sale, and to help you save money or use coupons. Anytime that you can save money, you are helping yourself.
Budgeting is a task of self-control. Know that you are only harming yourself if you do not stick to your budget, as you may not have money for all the expenses that you have for each month. By only spending what you originally intended to spend, you will feel better and have pride in your ability to spend only what is a necessity.