There’s nothing we want more than to be able to manage our money efficiently. After all, the money that we need to manage is money that is oftentimes, hard to come by. This is where a budget comes in. A properly executed budget should let you see where your money is going, get more use out of every buck, and help you save for a rainy day.
- The first smart secret to a budget is to set a goal. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to pay all of your bills in the same month? Do you want to put an amount aside for a big purchase or a huge investment? By having a goal, you’ll be able to shape your budget to best serve your interests.
2. The second of the 4 Smart Secrets to Creating a Killer Budget, is to take note of where your money usually goes.
What do you NEED to spend?
This includes bills, major but regular purchases like groceries, healthcare, etc., and everyday miscellaneous purchases. Seriously, you won’t know exactly where your money goes if you don’t write it down. That’s also the only way that you’ll be able to figure out what you should be spending on, and what you can do without.
What can you do without?
Once you’ve figured out the regular expenses, figure out what you can cut back on. How much do you spend on your daily caffeine fix in the morning? Do you NEED to be at Starbucks every single morning of the week? Or can you put your coffee in a ‘to go’ mug at home? You’d be surprised at just how much we can spend on a simple thing like coffee. The measly $2 or $5 of these small purchases cumulatively translates to more than $3600 a year!
Instead of buying your expensive latte, put the money you would usually pay for these small routine purchases in some sort of a container. You’ll be shocked at how much you’re saving out of your older budget.
3. Work on getting out of debt.
Debt = stress. And being in debt is a vicious cycle. I’ve been there.
There was a time in my life when I had a ridiculous amount of debt (mortgage not included). I had every credit card you can name, a car and a mortgage. Now I have none of that. No credit card debt (only one credit card), no car payment, no car insurance (DUH), nada. Granted it meant drastically scaling back my lifestyle, but honestly, all I really did was get rid of the things that were stressing me. My life is simpler, I still have everything I need (and want), and I don’t have a million payments coming out of my budget every month.
Anywho…I digress. Let’s get back on track, shall we?
By “debt” we’re talking about continuous payments, not to mention huge additional interest rates.
The best way to deal with this kind of debt, is to pay at the very least, the minimum on all of your cards in order to avoid paying insane late fees. But if you can afford to pay more, by all means PAY MORE or you’ll be in debt forever.
Focus your efforts on getting the biggest debts out of the way first because these are the ones that you’re paying the most interest on. Do this with all of your debts, biggest amount to smallest, knocking them off one by one, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can pay them out of existence.
4. The fourth step of our 4 Smart Secrets to Creating a Killer Budget, is to write down how much you earn, and how much you spend. I know…scary, but necessary.
There are (thankfully) a huge number of apps that you can even use on your phone to keep track of your spending. Or alternately, you make spread sheets of your own. Create a system that works for you and will help you keep track of your monthly budgeting progress. It makes life much (MUCH) easier.
5. If you HAVE to spend, especially if you shop a fair bit online (like I do), I use an app that gives me cash back on all my purchases (I’m fruuuugal, people. But I like nice things.)
I love being able to shop, knowing that I’m getting a discount that I don’t have to ‘jump through hoops’ to get 🙂 It probably has a few hundred stores that you can get money back on. I’m pretty sure that there are other apps like this one out there, but this one made the most sense to me.
CLICK HERE to sign up to get cash back on every purchase you make (and it costs you nothing!)
LIKE IT? PIN IT FOR LATER!