Hello readers! Well, It’s Financial Friday, and today I’m sharing 5 necessities for successful budget keeping. Well…. I guess there’s not really any need for a long introduction, so let’s get to the post!
1. Plan before you have. Wait, what? Yes, as confusing as that may sound, it is an absolute necessity! If you are getting a regular pay check every single week, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t already have every single cent of it budgeted out. Plan for the money that’s coming in, and plan for the money that’s going out. Really, to a certain extent, everything should be planned. When you are getting handed several hundred dollars, it will be a lot easier to spend it if you don’t already have a clear plan for it. In contrast, it’s extremely hard to spend money that you don’t have, isn’t it? Yes, of course it is! Well, if money has been budgeted out, that’s exactly how we should be viewing it! The (hopefully large) sum going to your savings account every week? Yeah, you can just forget about that. As far you you’re concerned, that money’s not even there. And it’s definitely not there to spend.
2. Write it down. Seriously, I can’t stress this enough. Write down every. single. thing. I know this may require quite a bit of effort, but in the long run, it really is worth it! In my personal budgeting, I write down the money that comes in, what goes to tithe & offering, what goes to missions, what goes to the checkings account, what goes to the savings account, and every single penny that I have spent. I would really recommend writing down & keeping track of every cent of the money that you spend. You might not think that you spend much, but $5 here and $5 there…… Well, it can add up pretty fast. When you have everything written down, it is also much easier to cut out unnecessary costs and spending. Which brings us to our next point.
3. Evaluate & Eliminate Unnecessary Costs. This is something that surprisingly, is often overlooked. There are so many things that people will spend money on that honestly, aren’t necessary at all! This is another bonus of writing down every cent of the money you spend. When all of your incoming & outgoing cash flow is written down and well documented, it will be much easier for you to be able to evaluate what your unnecessary costs are. Unnecessary costs can be something as simple as…… let’s say, buying lunch 4 times a week. If you spend $7 for your lunch, that may not seem like very much. BUT, if you add that up…… 7×4=28 & 28×52=1,456. Wow. That adds up quickly, doesn’t it? At the end of the year, that adds up to $1,456! I don’t know about you, but I would say that seems like a pretty good reason to start packing and bringing your own lunch to work with you.
Another thing that I personally think can be a major waste of money is subscription boxes……. This one can be debatable, but for me, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a waste of money that I could be doing better things with. I’ve let people talk me into subscription boxes, but after a few months, after thinking about it, why was I spending money on things that I didn’t actually even need? Why not try simply putting that money in the bank? If you actually need new makeup or something, I think it’s pretty simple to just go to the store and get it! Yes, even WITHOUT spending $40 for sample sizes of lotion and lip gloss that would come in a subscription box.
4. Stop Spending. Girls…… I mean this in the kindest way possible……. You really do not need that $37 new shirt. You just don’t! And if you were honest, you would probably say that your closet is already full to bursting and you don’t actually need it, no matter how cute it is 😉 When it comes to finances, it is so, so important to learn to say NO. Yes, of course it’s okay to buy something every now and then. But no, you don’t need to be “treating yourself” every single day, or even every week! Learn to stop impulsive buying. Learn to simply say no. Chances are, at the end of the day, you aren’t going to be regretting not blowing your budget and the money that was supposed to be going into your savings account, on a new dress.
5. Save as much as possible. If it’s at all possible, try your best to have a specific percentage (as large as possible) of your paycheck going straight to the savings account. Plus, you can always be adding more to the savings/investing whenever you are able. Have an extra $5 sitting in your wallet? Well, you can buy a coffee, OR you could put it in the savings account. It’s as simple as that! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you can NEVER buy a coffee, grab some lunch with a friend, or buy a new dress, but spending should not be the constant way of life that you’re used to. Being wise with your finances should become your regular way of life! Spending every cent of your paycheck, buying brand new cars, and going into debt in a million and one different ways, could very easily end up ruining your life. Building your savings account, being able to buy things in cash instead of on a credit card, and being financially free? That sounds so, so much better, doesn’t it? Oh yes! Definitely!
Do you keep a budget? What are some of your best tips and ideas for budget keeping? Would you be interested in more Financial Friday themed posts? I’d love to hear your thoughts; Let me know in the comments down below!