Let's get right to it and be clear. You can't say you don't know where your money is going, if you don't sit down and watch it. The reason you fail at budgeting,is because you aren't willing to track your spending. You don't want to look at your spending habits, and have to face the truth. The truth that you are the reason you are short on money at the end of the month. You are the reason you are living paycheck to paycheck. It is a hard pill to swallow. But, it is necessary to create growth in your finances. You have to be real about what causes your budget to fail.
Once you have figured out what areas you are weak in, you know where to improve. It is important that you create a map (budget) based on your personal spending. So in order to make a personal budget that will work, you have to build a foundation. You can't build a house based on what the neighbors want. You have to build one that fits your daily needs and wants. The same holds true for a budget. What are the things that don't work in your previous house or apartment that you want to change? Same goes for your budget. What works in your budget and what doesn't work? You have to be willing to sit down and find that out. You have to research your own spending. The only way to know your weakness is to track your spending. Everything you spend money on needs to be accounted for in order to build a proper budget. This means down to the $0.99 cents you spend at the vending machine during work everyday. You need to have a record of EVERYTHING!
Going forward, the one thing you have to start doing immediately is tracking your spending. There are two options you have:
You can start tracking your daily spending now. You will start today and pick a time to track it for. That can be either to the end of the week or the end of the month. You can create a sheet in google docs where you track all your spending. You want a clear picture on where your money goes. We are just so use to spending day to day, we don't know how that spending looks all together. Tracking your spending will get rid of holes we leave with our money. Every dollar needs to be accounted for that comes in your household and/or leaves your household. So once you track your spending for the amounted time. You will total of it to get a picture of your personal spending.
The second option you have is to track your previous month's spending, and the most effective. You can watch the video tutorial >>>here<<< that shows you a quick and simple way to track your last's month spending. This is the easiest way to get the full picture. I recommend that you sit down today and go through your previous bank statement and see what you have been spending on. When you do this activity you see every little area you spend money on. This will allow to you start making cuts and deciding what are your financial weaknesses.
Once you have created a monthly forecast from the past bank statement, >>>>using the video tutorial<<< you will be able to see if your spending matches up with the recommended amounts based on your salary. You can use the pie chart below to see if your spending fits within the recommended amounts. So for instance if you make $4,000 a month, your mortgage or rent should be $1000 to $1200, based on the pie chart below. This exercise let's you know where you can make some changes.
Whatever you created in the past with your money, it doesn't have to continue. At any moment you can decide to change your finances. Don't wait for a "perfect" time to sit down and look at the numbers. Start today making small changes that will equate to bigger changes for your money and your future. Start with being accountable to yourself and track your spending. Watch the video tutorial if you need help with tracking your spending.
Let us know how you manage to keep yourself accountable for spending, or if not how you can going forward?