Who actually enjoys budgeting money? Okay, someone out there somewhere does enjoy it. If you have a family and need to budget your money better, you need these tips in your life. There has to be at least one person in the family that manages the money and they can always do better. No one should take this as an insult, but we can all do better! Here’s how to manager your money better every month.
(1) Don’t spend more than you make
This is pretty common knowledge, but so many people don’t follow this basic principle. Don’t spend more than you make! Try your hardest to only spend what you make. This can be hard, but it’s not impossible. One of the simplest principles for budgeting is to NOT spend more than you make!
(2) Pay attention to what you’re spending
How many of you go buy whatever you want and don’t pay attention to what you buy? Save your receipts for a week and you’ll be amazed at how much money you didn’t even realize you were spending! This is a true wakeup call to those of you who spend money without tracking it. It will also light a fire under you and make you want to manage your money better every month.
(3) Write down when your bills are due
The average person misses out on hard earned money because they paid their bill late. One way to combat this issue is to go buy a calendar that’s made of paper. Put this paper calendar on your wall and then write down all of your bill’s due dates! This may seem like a monotonous task, but it will help keep you on task with paying your bills on time, so you can AVOID those late fees and keep more money in your bank. Not to mention, you don’t want to be left scrambling while trying to figure out how remove collections from your account.
(4) Now is the time to set up that budget
Let’s be honest, money is hard and sometimes you don’t want to deal with it, so don’t. A budget can help put your money to work for you. Every time you get paid, you put money where it needs to go. This may take some serious discipline, but it’s worth it. It works well if you get paid every week. This allows you to split your bill into fours.
- If your house payment is $600, every time you get paid, you will put $150 away until the bill is due.
- If your car payment is $240 a month, you will put $60 away every week until the bill is due.
- If your utilities are $300 a month, you will put $75 back each week until the bill is due.
Pretty simple and doesn’t require a lot of thought. It does, however, require actually following through with your budget.
Another part of budgeting is only spending your budgeted amount on items. Here are a few examples:
- $100 for groceries, you can’t spend more than that, no matter how tempting it may be.
- Put away money for gas and only use that amount
- Budget for “fun” and don’t spend more than that
Half the trouble of budgeting is making sure you don’t spend above what you budgeted for. After a little time has passed, you will be way better at budgeting than you are right now.
(5) Have budget meetings every month
It’s really hard, as a family, to be the only one who cares about the budget. If you’re married or have a partner, you need to consider them a part of the budget planning to. You need to have a budget meeting once a month. Talk about what you the budget will be in every category! The more you can talk and communicate about the month that’s being spent, the better off your money will be.
Just know what you can always do better next month. Maybe you went over on your eat out budget or you couldn’t agree on a eat out budget for this month, it will always get better. The more practice you have with budgeting and managing money, the better you will get.
(6) Use cash when possible
It’s hard to manage your money when you don’t know what you’re spending. You can manage your money better every month by using cash. If you take out a certain amount to spend and only use cash, you can’t spend more than that.
Credit cards and debit cards give us a false realization about how money can be spent. Stop and think about using cash only and see how big of a handle you can get on your finances.
Managing your money better every month starts with being proactive! Pay bills ahead of time, so they’re not late. Use cash, instead of credit, so you don’t overspend.