Sometimes it is hard trying to save money when you know that everyone will need new shoes for school or your refrigerator needs repaired, right? I know exactly how you feel. So, I put together this list for you.
1. Track your spending habits.
Before you can establish a realistic budget you need to know what you are spending your money on…and how often you spend it. There are some GREAT online expense trackers out there. I LOVE YouNeedABudget.com (YNAB.com). I have been using it for almost 2 years now. OR, you can track your expenses in a notebook. Assign a category to each expense. Want to know more about expense categories check out: How to Establish Budget Categories.
2. Set a realistic budget.
Set up a budget that you can live with. But, you also need to keep in mind that you can't spend more than you earn! Your budget is based on your categories: Groceries, Car gas, Entertainment, Clothes, Utilities, Rent/Mortgage, Insurance payments, etc.
3. Get the whole family on board.
Gather the family and explain to them what you are doing and why. Kids love to save money. They also love to know what is going on and want to participate. Make it fun. Add some incentives. Maybe for every dollar saved a dime goes into a jar. When the jar is full…ice cream treats are the reward! This also helps eliminate some of the ‘MOM, buy me this' requests.
4. Look for ways to save more money.
Evaluate how often you eat out. Or how often you go to Starbucks. Pack your lunch. Bring coffee from home. Cook more at home. Stay out of the malls. Shop around for better insurance rates. Clean your own house. Do your own nails. Mow your own grass. There are many ways for you to save some serious cash. Check out: 40 Ways to Save Money….NOW!
5. Look for ways to pay off debt faster.
When you pay off debt that payment is eliminated…which sets you up for more savings. Which can then be applied to other debt or saving for a future purchase..or even growing your savings account.
6. Think in terms of short term and long term.
A household budget should take into consideration the immediate, the short term, and the long term. Emergencies do happen. Believe it or not, you will get older and want to retire some day.
7. Pay for everything with cash.
Paying for cash is an easy way to eliminate spending. If the money isn't in your wallet…you can't spend it. You will eventually realize that you didn't need it to begin with…and soon you will spend less money.
8. Re-evaluate your budget every 3 months.
After a few months, assess your spending. Is one category under funded and another over funded (extra money left over)? Plus, once you realize that some of your ‘musts' are really only wants….you can cut back in those areas too.
9. Only shop from a list.
Shopping from a list helps you keep on track. Those impulse purchases can really add up. You are hungry and those chips are calling to you. Or the kids want the new and improved waffles. If on the list great….if not, say no.
10. Don't order anything online until waiting 2 weeks.
Online purchase can be dangerous. All of your payment details are saved for you…you just have to hit the ‘order now' button. Typically MOST of those purchases are impulse buys. But, in order to get those impulse purchases under control…wait 2 weeks and evaluate. Is it a need vs a want? If it is a real need go on and get it then!
Not even sure why budgets are important? Please read ‘Benefits of Budgeting.‘ This will definitely help you out.
And sometimes, when you are overwhelmed, stress sets in.
And when stress sets in it is sometimes difficult to be happy or joyful. So, please don’t let stress have the last word!
Go on and take a look at the ‘Top 5 Stress Reducers’ (Action Plan included). So that you can eliminate what causes you stress and get on the path of living a joyful life.
Joyful Living is ALL about not letting let the circumstances of YOUR life determine who you really are. You learn to choose YOU instead! Not sure how to do that? Let me help!
To begin, go ahead and read: