When it comes to getting finances under control the best tool you have on hand is a good budget. When planning a budget, sometimes you may find yourself feeling a bit lost. That's ok. With a little work and planning you can succeed at building a great budget for your family. Take a look at How to Budget Money with 10 Simple Hacks to see how easy it can be to get started.
How to Budget Money with 10 Simple Hacks
1. Set goals. Are you focusing on cutting debt? Building a savings? Beating the paycheck to paycheck lifestyle? By knowing your family's goals you can plan them right into your budget. Sit down with your spouse and discuss what our goals are and what you need to do to get to that point. Knowing what you are working for can help you focus and control your spending.
2. Track your current spending. If you use your bank for shopping they may have done this for you. If not you will have to do a bit of work and save receipts for a week or two. This will help you see where your money is going and where you can cut. This is where those random trips to the gas station for a soda are going to hit you.
3. Budget your bills first. No matter what you cut you need a home, you need power and water. Budget these in first but don't forget to work to bring those bills down later.
4. Budget your savings. Open a savings account and move your budgeted saving over right away to prevent someone from spending it.
5. Pay down debt. Once your bills and savings have been taken care of you can then move onto paying down your debts.
6. Make cuts where you can. Start couponing, making things from scratch, and taking steps to lower utilities. Move the money saved at the end of each month into one of your goals.
7. Make a hills and valleys account. When life is good and you have a bit extra wiggle in your budget move that money your hills and valleys account to pull from in leaner times. This is a great place to put overtime pay, tax returns, and bonuses. This allows you to not touch your savings when things happen.
8. When planning your budget on things that change plan on the high side. It is much better to have more left over to save than to be short and have to pull from savings for things like gas, food, and utilities.
9. Plan for your income on the low side. Do not include overtime, bonuses, or tips when planning your budget. That extra money is great when it comes but not guaranteed. Put that extra money to work on your goals.
10. Review your budget often. As you work to spend less you will notice more money being left over. As you progress in your career you will see extra money coming in. When you notice big changes like this your budget will need to be switched up to allow you to grow towards your goals even faster.
Want to get your finances back on track? You can refresh your budget with Frugal Fresh Start by Stephanie Jones. In her book, you will find more great money savings tips, how to budget, and encouragement to take control and get your finances back on track.