This post is greatly inspired by it being the New Year and recovering from the expense of Christmas. However, maintaining and keeping a budget is very important to me at all times of the year. Don’t forget to read my new year wishes over here!
We’ve always followed a budget since our first son was born.
Working with a limited amount of money while trying to make the biggest impact, budgeting has been a very helpful tool. I learned how to budget money by not budgeting in my early years, and having to learn how to recover from it. I sank myself into heaps of debt without even realizing it. I was young and immature. Budgeting is what helped me to get back on my feet.
There are so many methods, and I’m not advising anything.
I’m simply sharing what I do and why. Please remember, I’m not a professional money person, and therefore am not giving any advice. I’ve always preferred writing things down as opposed to typing them on a computer, so I use a coil bound notebook for our budgeting. My husband is paid bi-weekly and so I write the dates at the top. Usually one page will do one month of finances, but a few times a year there are 3 paydays in a month, and then the budgeting for the month carries onto the next page. I write the total amount of money we’re working with beside the date. My husbands pay is always the same, so I’ve always found this way to be easiest. Then, under the date I write a list of the expenses we need to take care of, ex, rent, groceries, car payment, etc. Then I write the cost associated with each one beside it.
On each payday I check mark the things on the list noting that it’s been paid and taken care of.
I even write down the things that are automatic withdrawals to ensure we always stay on top of our funds. Having anxiety like I do, I find a lot of peace with knowing where the money is going and what our expenses actually are. I also find it easier to anticipate bigger expenses with less stress, ex, Christmas, and birthdays. Being a single income family with 5 people and 2 animals, we’re often stretching our funds over a big area. I find this works much better when you know what to expect.
Budgeting has many benefits.
It can be helpful in achieving your debt related goals. Keeping track of the bill and what your paying can be a very motivating factor.
It can help to ensure you aren’t spending money that you don’t actually have.
It can be helpful for you to recognize where your money is going, and where you need it to go.
Following a budget helps to make sure you always have enough money while managing your debt load.
A budget can help you form positive habits, and save for your future.
It can be very hard to stick to a budget, espessially if it’s a new concept in your life.
A few tips I could offer are to make sure you write down all your expenses. If having a $3.00 coffee every morning is important to you (which is totally fine), then budget that in. Don’t try to make your budget like someone elses’. Your financial situation is unique and should be treated like it. What could work for someone else may not work for you at all. Find something that works for you and your situation. Review your budget every few months to ensure you are meeting your goals.
What are your thoughts about budgeting? Do you maintain one?