Budgeting


5 Steps to Start a Budget

Did you know that approximately one in three Americans keep and follow a budget each month? This means that the majority of the country does not budget their finances. There are two main reasons that people do not create a budget – the first being that they do not know how to start a budget and the second being that they are scared what creating a budget will tell them about their financial situation. I am going to talk about how to overcome the first problem.  Below are my five easy steps to start a budget! 1.  Calculate an accurate number for the income you are bringing […]

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How to Create a Christmas Budget

Christmas comes at the same time every year.  So why do so many people go into debt or not create a budget for Christmas? Christmas 2015 was the first time we ever set a true budget for spending on Christmas items.  While we did go over that budget, we were lucky and still did not go into debt because of overtime that my husband worked in November. Related: Christmas Budget Planner –> Not ready to think about Christmas yet?  Pin this post for later to your Christmas board so you can track your budget when you’re ready! However, I think […]

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How to Not Spend Your Savings

I have been using the best little trick since I can remember to ensure that I do not spend money allocated for savings before I actually save it. If you do not already have your paycheck direct deposited into a checking account, STOP AND DO THIS NOW.  This may seem like a no-brainer but I just want to be sure you have it done as this is key to getting your money to where it needs to be.  I am not sure that most employers even send out paper checks anymore but having your paycheck directly deposited into your account is […]

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How to Track and Manage Your Budget

If you are just getting started and do not have a budget created yet, be sure to check out my plan out my budget each month. Now that you have created a budget and started to plan out your budget each month each month, it is time to learn to track and manage your budget. Getting in the habit of checking in with your budget and your spending on a weekly, or even daily basis is going to take some practice. When I was first getting started in tracking my budget, I used a spreadsheet.  I still use a spreadsheet to […]

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How to Plan Your Monthly Budget

If you have not created a budget yet, or are interested in how I suggest creating a budget, go ahead and check out my first post in the series to get yourself started! Alright, so you have determined your monthly income, listed out your mandatory and discretionary expenses, and balanced your budget to ZERO for your first month.  If not, go ahead and create your first budget here. But how do you keep yourself organized and accountable for creating a new budget each and every month BEFORE the new month begins? How do you plan your monthly budget? What you […]

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Using the Cash Envelope System

Have you heard of Dave Ramsey?  One of his popular suggestions is his cash envelope system.   While we are not currently using cash for everything, we do our best to use cash only for eating out, fun activities, and groceries.   These are the budget categories that we were constantly going over budget – sometimes hundreds of dollars over!   Using cash has helped us control our spending and in the process helped us stay on track to paying off more debt. What is the cash envelope system? The cash envelope system is really just what it sounds like […]

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How to Start the Path to Pay off Debt

I love creating a budget! I really do enjoy working with the numbers and getting creative in how to make money work for me and not against me.  Since college, I have had a wide array of different budgets depending on my situation.  From planning ahead just a few months to make it through a semester to planning for a whole year and beyond, I have used the same basic style.  I try to estimate what I will need over the course of a specific set of months for each budget category and put aside an amount each month based […]

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How to Grocery Shop on a Budget

I remember when I used to think I did not need to grocery shop on a budget.  After college I would wander through the aisles and grab anything that appealed to me.  I probably bought enough food to last me a whole month EACH WEEK and a lot of food (not to mention money) went to waste.  The problem was that usually I had no idea what I wanted to eat for dinner that week and I would go shopping after work and be really hungry.  I am proud to say that I have gotten my grocery spending under control […]

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How to Improve Your Budget

I would venture to guess that most people have a hard time saving their money.  In fact, 62% of Americans have this problem.  Saving your money is a big step on the road to improve your budget. Don’t get me wrong, I know some people who are awesome at it and it has really paid off, but it definitely takes some self-control and perseverance! Michael and I are realllllyyy good at saving up a big chunk of money about every year or so and then deciding that we reallllllyyy need whatever it is that we splurge our savings on. Whoops! […]

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