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The Secret to a Successful Budget

Household budgets take a lot of work, but it’s the best way to save money for the things you really want. Unfortunately, many budgets ultimately fail. But, there is one, tiny trick that will make every budget successful no matter how much money you have to work with.

Be flexible.

That’s it. Really.

If you are locked into a strict budget, you’ll either give up on it or find that it’s too unrealistic to maintain. At which point, you’ll give up on it. Budget fail.

But, if you allow a little wiggle room in your budget, forgive yourself for last month’s mistakes, and focus on making the necessary changes, you’ll find that a budget is exactly what you need to get your finances whipped into shape. That’s why the hubby and I set a monthly budget meeting — to see how it’s going and make adjustments as needed.

If we’re continually stretching the budget in one category, it becomes clear we were too unrealistic in setting our financial goals. We’ll have to tweak other categories, make spending cuts or find a way to increase our income to cover the deficit. Last month, we had to be willing to make an extra allowance in our entertainment budget to make room for the once-in-a-lifetime Super Bowl activities in Indy. Our dining budget wasn’t happy with us, but it was totally worth it in the end.

It’s all about finding the right balance for you — with permission to change it later, if isn’t working anymore.

More on Babble.com:
Online Tools for Organizing Your Budget

Get Organized in 2012: 7 Steps to a Better Budget

Photo Credit: Flickr

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