I’m trying to think of any unique tips I can give on budgeting, but there are so many websites out there with how-to rundowns of budgeting. So basically I’ll just say this…
A budget needs to be flexible. Not so flexible that it defeats the purpose of having a budget, but flexible enough that if you need to move things around, you can.
Your goal, though, is to get a lot of things (like food, clothing, gas, etc) settled after a few months. After a while, it’s pretty easy to see how much your spending in various categories. Other things may take a while to figure out how much you spend, and you may not be remembering every little thing you need to budget for.
For example, we realized that we needed to budget for our car registration. A few weeks later, we realized that we needed to be saving for oral surgery to get my wisdom teeth taken out. A few weeks after that, we realized that we should be saving for a new rear tire for dh’s motorcycle (his main work transportation). So our budget changed three times in a few weeks. We had to change how much we’re spending on groceries, how much we’re putting into our baby emergency fund, and how much we put in the “blow money” category.
The moral of this story is that your budget should be flexible – but don’t make it so flexible that you defeat the purpose of having a budget.