One big problem many people face is that, while they may mean to save and invest 10% of their salary, by the end of the month they just don't have that much left. They have good intentions, but not enough discipline. There's a well-worn maxim that addresses this problem: Pay yourself first. In other words, take out money for saving and investing as soon as you get your paycheck. Then you can use what's left for your other needs.
If you want to be super-organized, you might even take it a step further. You could create envelopes for your major spending categories (such as food, clothing, entertainment, wigs, etc.), and then put the money that you plan to spend on each category in the respective envelope. Once your entertainment envelope is cleaned out, you're out of luck until the next payday. You won't end up spending money on one thing that was meant for something else.
For more insights into budgeting, read these previous articles:
- Should You Bother With Budgeting?
- How to Budget
- Try Some Budgeting Worksheets
- Involving Kids in the Budgeting Process
- Budgeting Made Easy
For lots of ideas on how to save money, visit our Living Below Your Means discussion board. To learn from fellow budgeters, drop in on our Budgeting discussion board. Also, be sure to check out our Personal Finance area, which is chock-full of guidance on insurance, buying a car or home, paying for college, banking, setting up short-term savings, getting out of debt, lowering your tax bill, and more.