Whether you are a busy parent, retired and living your best life, or a young adult stepping into independence, budgeting is for you! Budgeting is such an important skill that many of us are not taught how to do until adulthood when money becomes a huge stressor. Not only does budgeting help you keep track of your money, it allows you to become financially free so you can focus your time and energy on the things that are important to you.
Sometimes budgets can feel like diets. We pick one we think is going to fix everything only to find out a few months later that we struggled to stick to it and now we are still allowing money to control us, rather than the other way around. Getting back to basics will help you to finally regain control of your finances so you can spend less time stressing about money and more time doing the things you love to do. Follow these budgeting basics to hop on the freeway to financial freedom!
1. Know where your money is going.
Before trying to plug numbers into spreadsheets and cutting back on your spending, you must understand where your money is going. Off the top of your head, I’m sure you can name obvious things that you spend money on, like a mortgage/rent, groceries, car payment, etc.
Use my Money Master Bundle to help you get started! These ready-made resources will help you get on track so you can accomplish all of your financial goals. The Weekly Spending Tracker is perfect for helping you to understand where your money is going on a weekly basis. The Master Budget is great for looking at your spending habits over the whole month. You might find that you are spending a lot more money on eating out or shopping or all of those streaming subscriptions than you thought. Once you know how your money is being spent, you can realistically start to make changes based on your goals.
2. Set realistic goals.
Setting financial goals can feel overwhelming when there are so many things you want to save for. Start with building an emergency fund. Generally, having three months worth of expenses in your savings is a good rule of thumb. If this feels like too much at first, start with one month. Give yourself a realistic timeframe to reach your goal. Trying to save too much too fast will not set you up for success as you will likely have to make unsustainable lifestyle changes.
Using the Debt Payoff Planner included in my Money Master Bundle will help you break down your debt so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. Knowing how much you owe, when payments are due, what the interest rate is, and how many payments are left is crucial to tackling your debt. This super simple tool will help your money become more manageable!
Another part of setting realistic goals is being realistic with yourself about your spending habits. When you’re looking at ways to cut down on spending, it’s unlikely that you can decide to spend less on your mortgage or rent. You can, however, spend less money on eating out, shopping, or you can downsize to one streaming service instead of four. Being realistic with yourself will help you to stick to your budget.
3. Get creative.
If downsizing your expenses isn’t enough to get you to your goal, you will need to up your income. This doesn’t mean you have to get a second job in the evenings or on weekends or work crazy overtime that will end up causing you even more stress. Chances are, you have some things stored in your closet, basement, spare bedroom, and garage that you can part ways with. Selling these things is a great way to make some extra cash to help you achieve your goals!
My new course will teach you how to turn your clutter into cash! You will learn the ins and outs of selling, tracking, and mastering your money. From selling online, to garage sales, to keeping track of donation receipts, turning your clutter into cash has never been easier. I made over $300 on Facebook Marketplace over a weekend! This is a great way to bring in extra cash that doesn’t require you to get a second job.
4. Don’t give up!
Managing your money can seem overwhelming, especially if you have gone your whole life without doing it. With the right tools, you can start to master your budget so you can become financially free. Budgeting will help you keep more of your money and experience less stress. You’ve got this!