If you are considering a budget and you’re always broke, don’t panic. You’re considering a budget because you feel like you’re living paycheck to paycheck and you want to figure out where your money is going each month. One way or the other, you’ve noticed you aren’t able to save a dime. Most of us are paid every two weeks or once a month. I know we quickly realized after two children came along that we were living paycheck to paycheck each month and we decided to make a budget. We weren’t dedicated at first because we were used to being free spenders with no children. We recently sat down and actually wrote out a budget on paper hoping that this would help us stick to it. We have! I’ve developed a few tips below to help you begin budgeting and how we are doing with our budgeting.
- Find budgeting forms to help get you started when writing your budget on paper. Keeping it on paper in a designated location is really going to help you figure out where your money goes each month. The Budget Mama has a really good FREE book that provides you with some printable worksheets to use when creating your budget.
- Be willing to make a change. Of course, living on a budget doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice the good life, but it does take dedication and hard work. If you want to figure out where all your money is going, you’ll have to start somewhere.
- Cut back on things you waste money on such as television. We all know that cable is far to expensive these days. It’s actually way overpriced. We have been married almost eight years and have never had cable or satellite. We did get Netflix as it came into popularity, probably about four years into our marriage, which runs us about $10 a month. We both feel that beats the heck out of $100+! If you wear expensive makeup or perfume, be willing to make a sacrifice in this area as well. Let’s face it ladies, a $50 Urban Decay eyeshadow palette is far too much to pay!!!! I am not guilty of this just yet and probably never will be. I’ll admit, I used to be, but two children changes your perspective on life.
- Save for specific things such as vacations or those property taxes that come up right before Christmas or those car insurance/tax bills that come due at the exact same time. I promise it’s going to happen. Every November, we are bombarded with $1500 in extra miscellaneous bills (property taxes, car taxes and car insurance) and I was never ready for them until this last year. I kept a separate account hidden all year just for these bills and it didn’t make me feel broke right before Christmas.
- Keep your random coins!! We all joined in with saving our coins and ended up having over $300 in loose change last year that we put towards Christmas gifts! It’s so simple to save change, yet something that is commonly forgotten! I really wish everyone in America would send me one penny. Haha
- Do NOT get into further debt or venture into any debt especially if you don’t have any! A house is a necessity and should likely be your only debt especially if you are making payments to own your own place someday. Here’s an example of what not to do. Don’t be tempted to buy a brand new car. I’ll just be upfront with you, I did it. I guess I just had to experience the feeling of buying a brand new car and boy was I dumb back then. I wasn’t raised that way. I had always driven used cars, wrecked cars, that me and my dad rebuilt together. I have no clue what I was thinking, but I was young and dumb is all I have to say. Don’t do it! There are very nice cars out there for a lot less!
This list is going to keep growing! We ourselves are on the track to saving and budgeting the right way. We’d love to hear your stories of budgeting!