BARE BONES BUDGET: Tracking what you spend is easy, unless you make it otherwise

Building a better budget is a job anyone can handle. If you try to build the perfect one, you’ll probably find yourself somewhere between frustrated and frazzled to the point that you’ll just skip having one altogether.
A budget is to the financially misguided what a diet is to those who struggle with how they eat. The words are intimidating and even when you incorporate a diet, for example, most people try to do too much, too son and end up failing completely.
The trick to a diet, much like a budget, is working through it slowly, making simple changes and not attempting to do a complete 180 degree turn within a few weeks.
Budgeting isn’t about a complete overhaul but rather handpicking some bills or debt that could be whacked relatively quickly or spending habits that obviously need halted.
The biggest mistake people make is pairing down their budge to the point that it is unrecognizable and incredibly impossible to fulfill, and still be content.
If that sounds oddly familiar, think back to when you ate whatever you wanted, then decided to diet. Rather than just substitute a baked potato for your French fries at lunch, you tried to live on carrot sticks and salad every day.
And much like weight loss or exercise, you can’t expect to change your appearance or body type within a few weeks. The same could be said for saving money. If you make $2,000 per month, you can’t expect to save $20,000 by the end of a work year. You need to make sure you leave yourself money to live on and enjoy; setting realistic goals helps, whether you want to lose 50 pounds in one month or all of a sudden have a sizable savings account within a year.
That just isn’t going to work, no matter if you’re talking food or finances.
The one aspect of a budget you’ll always need to think about is consciously putting aside cash in case of an emergency. Far too many people break a leg, have a major medical expense or a repair that makes them crazy and no money to take care of the issue.
Even $100 per pay equates to more than $2,000 saved at the end of the year. Over the course of a five year budgeting plan, you’ll sock away $10,000 and be fully prepared to at least tackle most of what ails you financially.
A lot of what will make you successful is patience and not feeling like you have to do too much too soon as far as budgeting. You have to find a system that fits you well, so that your money ultimately will work for you.