Unfortunately, the word budget has gotten a bad rap. It’s basically just a plan. When you budget, you’re spending with purpose, before the month begins. But many people view a budget as a straightjacket that keeps them from doing what they want. Freedom and budget just don’t seem to go together for them.
Your budget is your plan for the upcoming month. You’re planning the money you haven’t spent yet. When you keep receipts or use your online banking to see what you spent last month, you’re doing just that—looking at last month. Look forward and back—not just one or the other. If you’re already tracking your spending, the budget is just a natural next step. It should be easy for you.
And when you see that the way to spend money intentionally only works with a budget you will feel like a burden has been lifted off your shoulders and as a consecuence you will have freedom.
The number one excuse why most people don’t budget is that they have no time, and that is the same exact reason why they need to budget. You cannot afford not having a budget that will help you navigate through the days, months, and years successfully. So, you don’t have time to not have a budget, you need that and you want that. So, don’t go by what everyone else is doing or saying, have some standarts of your own and stay the course until you get the results you desire.
If this is your first budget, we want you to use pen and paper for few months and until you get to know your numbers swicht to electeonic. We recomend EveryDollar as you can download the app on any divice. By following this secuence many people say they’ve found “extra” money when they created a realistic budget and stuck with it.
Being realistic when you create your budget is key, as no two months are the same, and no two households are the same either.
Here are ten pointers for your first budget:
1. Budget to zero before the month begins. That means every dollar gets a name before you spend a dime of it.
2. If you’re married, you and your spouse need to do the budget together. Period. The preacher said ” . . . and you are one.” If you’re single, find someone who can act as your accountability partner.
3. Every month is different (think birthdays, vacations, car insurance, back-to-school supplies), so be sure to adjust your budget monthly.
4. As you’re budgeting, start with your most important categories first, like giving, housing, food, clothing, insurance and bills. Then, fill in the rest of your budget with your leftover cash.
5. If you’re in debt, paying that off should be a top priority. Use the debt snowballand the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps to focus your money where it has the most impact. If you need help in any of these categories: saving, budgeting, paying off debt including student loan and or mortgage we’re here to help you and will be with you every step of the way.
6. Don’t be afraid to make budget cuts. If your budget is tight, save money by canceling cable, eating out less, and shopping at a discount grocery store. You can always rearrange things next month.
7. If pen and paper (or spreadsheets) aren’t your thing, or you just don’t have them available contact us at www.redtogreeneconomy.com we can help you. You can also try Dave Ramsey’s free online budget tool,EveryDollar we use it and it is a great tool. You can make your budget and track your spending from the comfort of your smartphone! Plus, you can sync up your budget with your spouse.
8. Use the cash envelope system for as many budget categories as it makes sense. To get these again you can contact us at www.redtogreeneconomy.com and we can facilitate these to you. Our goal is to help you change your finances for the best. The envelope system is another great tool designed to help you. For example, keep paying for gasoline with your debit card, but get cash out for your fun money and clothing cash. Once your envelope is empty, stop spending! It’s the ultimate accountability partner.
9. Give yourself lots of grace. It usually takes three to four months to get this whole budgeting thing down pat. It won’t be perfect the first time, or the second. But you’ll get there!
10. Be content. You have much more than you realize. Don’t compare your situation to anyone else’s. Keep moving forward and doing what’s right for your family, remember to always give thanks
When you are spending your money with purpose, you’ll be on the road to changing your family tree forever! Imagine your future (and your kids’ future) without money worries. That’s the beauty of a hardworking budget.
What tools are you currebtly using to create your budgets? Let us know; we’d love to hear fron you