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“According to a recent study by U.S. Bank, only 41% of Americans use a budget even though it’s one of the most effective ways to keep track of our finances.”money.cnn.com
So which category do you fall in? Hopefully after reading my post today you’ll be in the 41% team because having a plan for your money will put you ahead. By creating a budget and sticking to it you’ll be able to live within your means rather than use a credit card to fund the difference.
You’ll be able to save more money, pay off your debt more effectively, and move towards financial freedom. All of these goals start with sitting down and creating a system for telling your money where to go. Today I’ll be sharing a few easy tweaks you can do today that will transform your budget fast.
1. Start working out
I know you’re wondering if you’re in the right post because clearly I said easy tweaks that will transform your budget and not your body, but they’re related. In fact exercise is the first place that really gets change started in other areas of your life. Once you feel good and build the habit of working out regularly you’ll want to get other areas of your life together as well, exercise is the domino effect that kicks other parts of your life in gear.
“Typically, people who exercise, start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. Exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.” -Charles Duhigg
Another tip given by Charles from his book the Power of Habits is to start your day off by making your bed. By making your bed you’re starting your day off with a win.
2. Set rules for yourself
Don’t spend the money from your paycheck until you’ve actually created a plan for it. One of the members inside of my Young Yet Wise Society membership (which is a money support group where we have video group strategy calls about our money goals and how to reach them) says the day before you gets paid she will look over her budget and make sure you knows exactly where her money is going. If she doesn’t have a plan for her money she’s not allowed to spend anything. How genius is this?
I remember when I didn’t have a plan for my money I would just spend recklessly. Shopping, Food, drinks, events you name it I was spending my money on and then I was scrambling wondering how I would have enough to pay my bills. So I love this tip of not touching your money until you have a plan written down for it.
3. Break your budget down into two half’s
This is one of the many tips that I’m offering inside of my latest money workbook A boss lady’s confident guide to budgeting her money, Make sure when you’re creating your budget you’re splitting it into two pay periods. Half of your bills that are due from the 1st-15th and then the other half of your bills that are due from the 15th- 31st. This was a game changer for me because before I just had one giant budget. Splitting up your budget this way will allow you to check it before getting paid and knowing which bills are due during this pay period. Oh and don’t forget that paying yourself first is a bill that must get paid!
4. Try to find ways to make extra money
Rather than squeezing out all of the things you enjoy from your budget try to instead find ways to make more money. Even if it’s just $50 a month extra you can use this extra money towards one of your smaller bills. One way to make extra money is from the comfort of your home by getting paid to fill out surveys. Yes Survey Junkie will pay you to take a survey. I know you’re probably thinking this is too good to be true, but this is a thing why not fill out a survey with Survey Junkie while you’re watching an episode of This is us. One hand for filling out a survey another hand for grabbing a tissue because you know you’ll need it. It’s a win win for everyone. : D So if you’re looking for a way to make money from home I recommend Survey Junkie
Having a plan for your money doesn’t have to be hard, but you do have to sit down and give your money a place to go or you’ll always wonder where it went Monday morning on your way to work. Start working out 3-4 times a week. When you start making one change in your life the other changes seem to fall in line. Set rules for yourself, if you know you get paid this Friday and you don’t know which bills are due or how much you should put into your savings sit down and map it out. Lastly find ways to make extra money so that your not miserable eating beans and not getting a chance to pamper yourself every now and then. (Let’s face it we all love a good mani and pedi now and then)
5. Make paying yourself first automatic
It’s important to make sure that you’re putting savings aside so you can have cash on hand in case an unexpected life event happens. Like your dentist bill is higher than you thought it would be, or your mattress suddenly hurting your back, or your car breaking down. If you’ve built up a separate savings account with at least 3-6 months of your monthly expenses when things go wrong you’ll be less stressed. You’ll be able to sleep a little better at night knowing you don’t have to rely on your credit card debt or ask family and friends to help you out. One tool that I find helpful is Rize. With Rize you can automatically save money for many of your different goals. For me I love separating my goals into different accounts rather than keeping all my money jumbled together in my checking account. Want to learn more benefits of Rize check out my post on breaking up with Digit and now saving my money with RIze.
What are some tweaks you’re going to implement this week to start transforming your budget?
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