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Budgeting…it’s just simple math right? Figure out what comes in and subtract what comes out. Hopefully, you end up on the positive side. Well, that’s the bare bones of budgeting, but here I list some budgeting tips and tricks to help your household.
Budgeting is one thing I wish I would have done better when I was younger! It’s easy to stick to once you make a commitment to keeping yourself on track. But it’s difficult to get started, especially if you think you don’t need to have a budget.
There are so many budgeting tips and tricks out in internet world that you can easily become overwhelmed by everything people say you should do.
I’m here to say, pick what works for your family! Someone else’s budgeting tips and tricks are not going to work for you if your family can’t stick to them!
If a budgeting method doesn’t work, try a different one or adjust. Month to month your budget isn’t going to look the same. Don’t give up! You’ll find what works for you and your family!
To encourage you on your budgeting journey, here are some of the best budgeting tips and tricks to help you!
1. Do NOT spend more than what comes in!
This is a no-brainer, but so so important! It’s not much of a budget if you are spending more than you take in each month! Which brings me to the next point…
2. Know where every penny is going!
Know when income comes in and bills go out! Organize your money. It’s the easiest way to keep track of when and what comes in and goes out of your account.
3. Use cash and the envelope system.
If you’ve read up on budgeting, you know Dave Ramsey is the big name in the personal finance world. His envelope system is pretty simple. Figure out how much you are allowing to spend on “extras” that isn’t a bill each month and use cash to make those extra purchases. Once that cash is gone, either you have to borrow from the other cash envelopes you still have available or go without.
4. Keep in mind and account for incidentals.
When’s your car tabs due? Any birthday presents you need to buy? Oil change coming up? Budgeting for vacation? Field trips? Book fair?
There’s always something that comes up each month, make sure you account for the incidentals in your budget!
5. Allow yourself “fun” money.
If you are someone who doesn’t do well on a budget because you feel restricted in your spending, then give yourself an allowance! If feeling too restricted from fun is holding you back from making a budget, then add that money into your budget. Just don’t go overboard on the “fun” money. Keep it realistic and know that once it’s gone, it’s gone!
6. Prioritize your debt
Not all debt is created equal. If you are paying more interest on one credit card, but not as much on another. Concentrate on paying down the higher interest debt first. No use in wasting your money towards interest versus something else.
7. Have an emergency fund.
This is Baby Step #1 from Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps towards financial peace. Have a $1000 emergency fund! That way when you do have a financial emergency, you can use your emergency fund rather than charging a credit card.
8. Consolidate or transfer balances to a 0% or low interest account
There’s no reason to continue paying interest if you don’t need to. Either search for a better offer that allows for low to no interest or call your credit card company to get a better interest rate.
9. If something’s not working, switch how you budget.
If something isn’t working for your family, change it! You are in charge of your budget and money. If something didn’t work this month, change it up next month. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t stick to the budget completely. Maybe next month, you need to allow for a bit more in one area versus another.
10. Set goals!
Goals are great! It’s something to work for and something to keep you accountable! Once you see progress towards meeting your goals, you’ll find more motivation to pay debt down or save!
I love watching the progress my family is making in our vacation fund! We started the savings account mid July and here we are at almost mid August and we’ve already saved over $400 without taking money from any of our normal income. You can check out how we’re saving here if you want to learn more about making and saving extra income!
11. Revisit your budget regularly
Each month, go through your budget to evaluate how it is working for your family. If you need to adjust for anything that month, or add any new expenses.
12. Stick to your budget!
Try to stick with your budget for the month. If you waiver, don’t beat yourself up over it or give up! You’ll soon get in a habit and it’ll be easy for you each month to make your budget.
13. Be on the same page with your spouse!
Budgeting should be a couple activity. You don’t want to cut your spouse off from having free rein on their spending and then get into an argument when you don’t agree on the spending.
14. Use a system that works for you.
I said it previously, don’t struggle through a budget that doesn’t work for your family!
Take these budgeting tips and tricks and apply them to your family budget today. You’ll be ecstatic to see the progress your family financials make in a short amount of time and it’ll soon become easy and part of your normal routine to budget.