When drawing up a personal budget, it is important to be mindful of the differences between your idealized personal expenses and the actual personal expenses that your budget expresses exist. Be sure that you are not delusional in thinking that your cash expenses are "not that high" or that you do not spend that much money in light of your documented budget stating otherwise. You need to think about small items that you may purchase throughout the week as well as your larger fixed expenses. If you have adequate income to meet your expenses in terms of your fixed costs (for example mortgage payments) and your necessities (food, etc.), then you have planned your budget correctly. If the opposite is true, it is time to examine some of the variables in your personal budget.
The first factor to ensure a balanced budget is to make certain that your personal income is capable of covering your life costs and necessary money expenses. If this is not the case, you need more income to cover these key items. There is no point in budgeting if you do not have the money to provide paper on which to write the facts and figures, so make sure that you have enough financial capacity to demonstrate the responsibility of paying the necessary bills and procuring the necessary items with which to function as a human being.
Once this has been established, you can now move on to your budget in an official sense. Make sure you are aware of your expenses and how to counteract your expenses by drawing up an effective budget to allocate your cash. Your budget should exhibit all of your expenses, even the unknown ones such as emergencies and unforeseen circumstances, so that you are visually aware of where you stand financially at all times by simply taking a look at the documented information. From that point, you are able to see where you went wrong with your fiscal planning and what can be done in the future to prevent any mistakes.
Assuming you did not make any budget mistakes, you are not able to process the personal expenses aspect of your budget in an area beyond known costs and fixed costs. This is where the comparison of budget to actual expenses comes heavily into play because you are not comparing what is left with what is desired. For example, if you want to install a backyard swimming pool and you notice that your budget has you coming up with about a hundred dollars extra per month after all known and fixed expenses you may deduct that it is not such a good idea. This will also allow you to see whether you are in a position to gain a personal loan or pay day advance.
These types of comparisons are important because they allow you to see, literally, into the future of your fiscal situation and create a climate of financial responsibility that will last a lifetime if implemented correctly. Although drawing up a budget may not be the most exciting task, it really can help you become more financially organized.