This about.com Twelve reasons budgeting can improve your life article is hot on the internet right now, and for good reason: it offers good motivation to establish a budget. I’ve collected a pile of other budgeting links to share.

First, for those of you that haven’t read Twelve reasons budgeting can improve your life, the advantages of budgeting are:

  1. A budget helps you reach your goals (and keeps you from getting side-tracked).
  2. A budget lets you control your money instead of your money controlling you.
  3. A budget will tell you if you’re living within your means.
  4. A budget can help you meet your savings goals.
  5. Following a realistic budget frees up spare cash.
  6. A budget helps your entire family focus on common goals.
  7. A budget helps you prepare for emergencies.
  8. A budget can improve your marriage.
  9. A budget reveals areas where you’re spending too much money.
  10. A budget can keep you out of debt or help you get out of debt.
  11. A budget actually creates extra money.
  12. A budget helps you sleep better at night.

There are other budgeting articles at about.com, including Top three causes of budget failure (negative attitude, lack of motivation, and unrealistic expectations); How to set up a successful budget; Guilt-free budgeting: no blame, no shame (in which the author offers the following steps to setting up a budget: 1. Set up categories, 2. Calculate budget amounts, 3. Record your expenses, 4. Set goals and make adjustments); and The secret to successful budgeting.

My favorite about.com article discusses What makes a good budget? The answers:

  • Categories that fit your personal situation and your spending habits.
  • Accurate income projections.
  • The right number of categories: not too broad, but not too specific.
  • Inclusion of expenses that don’t occur on a monthly basis.
  • Regular review of categories.
  • Cash expenditure tracking and recording.
  • A line item for savings.
  • Realistic written goals.
  • Identification of spending patterns.
  • Internal motivation and a positive attitude.

Remember that the freely-available PearBudget is an excellent introduction to budgeting. Also check out previous budgeting advice at Get Rich Slowly.