How do you feel when your money slips away and it’s time to start all over again? Ugh, that feeling is enough for most people to throw their hands up in the air.
If you have started your debt-free journey but are struggling with the importance of budgeting or just getting back into a routine of creating one monthly then here are seven tips that will give you some inspiration about why starting fresh every month is so important!
Creating a budget gives us more control over where we want to spend our hard-earned cash. Maybe that’s dinner and a movie, but perhaps it isn’t. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an actual choice?
If you are new to budgeting check out my complete guide to creating a budget for FREE here.
Check out the tips below to help keep you motivated and encouraged when you make your next budget.
Keeps You Honest
Be realistic and honest with yourself about your finances. Have a plan for what you want to do next month before you get paid again! If you know you have birthdays, events, etc coming up, be realistic in how much you can budget for those situations.
Think about the last time you threw away a receipt for something that wasn’t impulse-buy-related. How many times have you looked back at it and thought, “I could’ve saved $10 on this by waiting until next week?” You’re not alone! That’s why I always try to be more mindful of my spending habits so I don’t end up overspending.
By applying these techniques to your lifestyle, there will come a point where impulsive emotional shopping becomes an issue of the past.
Track Where Your Money Is Going
The budget is like the map of your journey. You start with where you are, then chart out all the stops and destinations along the way so that when it’s time to get back on track if anything goes wrong or gets lost in translation your map will be there for guidance.
When you stick to creating a budget, this one step will cause less tension in your marriage. If you’re feeling unmotivated with the process of setting up and sticking to a new spending plan – take another look at it! Make sure every dollar is accounted for and if not ask yourself why that might be?
Use Mobile Apps To Simplify
If writing by hand isn’t your thing, switch to using an app! If you’re not a pen-and-paper person, there are budgeting apps that will help. You’ll be able to organize everything from the palm of your hand with ease and won’t have any trouble keeping track of what’s going on when paying bills or making transfers into savings accounts later down the line. Here’s a list of apps for you try out today!
When you have money coming in, it’s a good idea to know what your cash flow is like. Create an account on Mint or YNAB and set up automatic deposits for everything from savings accounts to car insurance.
This way, when you get paid again next month and want to do the same thing all over again it is already taken care of. This eliminated one step in the traditional writing out your monthly budget. If you are struggling with tracking every dollar and living below your means this is a must option for you.
When you start budgeting you start an emergency fund. The importance of having this savings account cannot be stressed enough, and it should not just be used for emergencies only! If you ever have to go through a major life event like finding out that your partner has cancer or losing your job unexpectedly, the money in this account will come in handy when you need it the most.
Having it all in front of you in black and white helps you identify things you’re wasting your money on.
It makes you reconsider if you want to spend well over $200 a month on Cable TV or $150 on your large cell phone plan. Or how about that yearly magazine subscription to something you no longer read? Go through your expenses and reevaluate if this is how you want to spend your paycheck. By keeping a monthly budget you are getting rid of bad spending habits.
Ensure You’re Not Spending More Than You’re Making
Most importantly, your budget will keep you on track and help you make sure you’re not spending more than you’re making. And I don’t have to tell you that that’s pretty important for your financial wellbeing. For more tips on how to live below your means check out this article here.
If you want financial freedom, then it’s important to stick to a budget. The easiest way is by using the 50/20/30 rule for your monthly spending plan and sticking with fixed expenses like rent or mortgage payments. This may sound difficult at first, but when you break down what needs to be paid each month into manageable chunks of time (with apps such as Mint), figuring out how much money you have left becomes easier than ever before!
To help make this process even simpler, I created an Ultimate How-to Start Budget Post that shares my favorite tips and tricks for getting started on creating a budget in just 20 minutes.