Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, BUDGETING! There are millions of interesting things to talk about in the world, like the solar system or ice fishing, but budgeting is usually not one of those. It may be boring or stress-inducing, but it’s something that must be done. Think of it as the foundation for your family’s well-being and future, you need it to be rock solid.
If you hate budgeting, we’re going to give you 6 things you need to know to have your finances in order. Let’s begin the with mindset:
- Budgeting is the EXACT SAME as DIETING
Calories In ––> Calories Out
Money In –––> Money Out
If you want to be successful at losing weight, you must track everything you eat and weight yourself frequently. Even though there are many who oppose this rule, it’s the tried and true way to see a measurable difference with your BMI. It keeps you accountable and on-track, and the same goes for budgeting. If you keep track of everything you spend, every day, and simply avoid spending more than you take in, you will stay on track. This requires forethought and effort, but it’s worth it in the end.
- Write it All Down
As we said above, tracking your finances is key to successfully following a budget. If you aren’t one to write down your finances, something that may help is investing in a quality planner. Something that looks good, is detailed, and can stand the test of time is what you should aim for. The Living Well Planner comes to mind for something that’s comprehensive and goal-oriented, as well as the Bullet Journal. Both of these not only can be used to track finances, but also health and well-being related goals. Religiously using your planner can help you see a difference in your spending and give you a visual for what you may need to cut out.
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- Cut it out!
We’re talking about unnecessary items. Too many Starbucks lattes, eating out for lunch every day, fancy items like food delivery services or unused gym memberships need to be cut. Whittle you budget as much as you can without compromising your happiness and quality of life. You can spend these things in moderation, but oftentimes we don’t realize how much we spend on things until we start tracking them.
- Use Separate Accounts
If you’re married, we recommend having 3 separate accounts to control your finances. One of them will be only used for your fixed expenses, such as house payments, car payments, insurance, gas, groceries, utilities, and anything else you pay month-to-month.
The next account is used for savings, which if you don’t already have, it’s probably time to start. This is where you’ll set aside money every month according to your plan. This should not be touched! Don’t pull out of your savings even in emergencies, because you should have a separate fund for that. We’ll talk about emergency funds later.
The last account you should have is for your personal fun spending. This includes a certain amount of money set aside each month for eating out, vacations, parties, or clothes shopping. It’s the money you can use for anything you’d like, as long as you stay within your designated amount. It’s the best account, am I right?!
- Emergency Funds
Something that can affect your budget is in the event of an emergency. This can mean medical emergencies and every unexpected payment, such as car issues or roof problems. Keep a separate fund for these events that inevitably happen in everyone’s life, so you won’t have to pull from your savings or your monthly allowance to cover the costs. This prevents you from stress for one, but also it can help you stay on track with your budget.
- Monthly Meetings!
☑ Bottle of wine
These are what you need for a successful monthly finances meeting with you and your spouse. Set aside a specific time each month to talk thoroughly about what you spent, how much you saved, and what you need to work on. This can save a relationship too, far too many married couples are strained when finances get swept under the rug. It takes practice, but this monthly meeting can really improve your life as it clearly defines your financial goals and keeps you on the same page with your spouse. And it can be fun! Make it an enjoyable time with your favorite meal or ice cream, something to make it worthy to look forward to.
Well, that’s it. Hope you hate budgeting a little less and can benefit from these tips! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or contact us. We’d love to help you get financially fit and ready to take on the world.