Budgets are never easy to follow but with some creativity it can work.
Everyone should have a budget, no matter how much you earn. Budget is a list of income and expenses for a certain period of time. This tool can help you prioritize your expenses and manage your income. If you have financial goals, a budget can help you identify wasteful expenses and adjust to your income. When you break down your expenses, you will realize how things can quickly add up.
Having a budget is not an easy task; you will need self-discipline, self-control and awareness on how much you can spend. A budget can be done the old way: with pen and paper, an excel spreadsheet or with apps like Mint, Pocket guard, Spend book, Wally and many others. If you have a smart phone it is much easier to stay in budget with different apps. Your stress levels will be lower when you have a budget because not many things will be unexpected. If you have an emergency or last-minute invitation to the trip of your dreams, you will know if you have the money or not.
I am not good at budgeting myself. What helps me are the applications on my phone because they alert me when I overspend or if I’m getting to my limit. I also create some limits with my food budget, eating out, and not buying unnecessary things.
- I eat out twice a month and with a budget of $30 for two.
- My budget for groceries is $300 for two people (including toiletries).
- I do not shop for clothing or shoes and use what I have.
- I take my coworker to work sometimes and she help me with money for gas.
- I meal prep every week for breakfast and lunch.
- I cut my own hair, do my own manicure and pedicure.
Some people have more control about spending money when they use cash or others methods, like the envelope budget where money is put in a different envelope for every different expense. I personally use my credit cards to pay for everything because I get cash back. I can control myself with using credit cards but everyone is different. Go ahead and use whichever method works best for you and follow it.
Remember, don’t let money control you, be in control of your money. Please let me know how you manage your budget.