It’s no secret that I love some great budgeting tips.
To me, budgeting helps you reach your goals. It’s a road map to get from point A to B that allows you to detour every once in awhile to have some fun. I hear from so many people that a budget is too restrictive. You just can’t have a life and a budget, too. PEOPLE! You are so wrong! A budget is freeing! It’s so much more than a ball and chain.
I’m all about having fun now, but I want to have fun later in life too. For me, it’s all about balance. Set priorities of what you want to be doing now so you can enjoy yourself, but make sure your future is a priority. You don’t deserve to work all of your life only to learn that on the day you retire that you have to change your standard of living.
I’ve put together some resources of some really helpful budgeting tips to get you started and keep you on track.
1) You need to create a budget. A budget doesn’t have to be complicated. You can create a budget in less than 10 minutes if you do it right.
2) Learn how to spend your money, the right way. For some, using the cash envelope system is the way to go. It prevents you from overspending and keeps your priorities straight.
3) Build up your emergency fund. You never know when a rainy day is going to come. It’s best to be prepared, always. I suggest starting off with $1,000 in your savings account. Usually that’s enough to get you buy until the next pay day. If something unexpected comes up then you will have your emergency fund to help out. I really like Alea from Premeditated Leftovers’ guide on how to build an emergency fund on a slim budget.
Having an emergency fund can really pay. Trust me, J and I have had to use our emergency fund a few times to get us by when my car broke down and when our fridge went out. We were still able to buy groceries and pay all of our bills on time. Our life was not interrupted at all.
4) Set goals for yourself and your family. Having a goal in mind is a great motivator. Saving just to save isn’t fun. You’ll find yourself spending more than you budgeted for and next thing you know, everything is out of whack. J and I save for many different things. Some are just for him and others are for me, but most of everything we have a goal for is something we both want. We want to travel, spend time at the lake and spoil our family so we set goals, save for them and then have fun when we get there.
5) Get creative. Saving money and budgeting doesn’t have to be boring. I like to make a game out of it – how much money can I save today? I play whenever I have to buy something. Going to the grocery store? Let’s see how much money I can earn and save! Going clothes shopping? I love seeing how much money I saved at the bottom of the receipt.
Kim from Thrifty Little Mom has some great tips on how to lower your grocery bill. I really like these money saving apps I found. I plan to save the money to use towards Christmas shopping. Christmas is still 8 months away so by then I should have quite a bit saved up to take care of a few gifts.
Remember, budgeting doesn’t have to be controlling. You tell your budget what you want and it will work for you. Just make sure you’re being honest with yourself when creating it.