Ah, the inexhaustible topic of home/family finances. It never gets old, does it? Of course, there’s some valid reasoning behind the theme’s popularity. One can’t quite argue about whether money shapes our life to a certain degree. It’s a questionless fact that it does (we might add: to a good degree).
Let’s take a guess and say you’re probably tired of constantly worrying about money. That’s why we’ve composed this neat little article. In it, we’ll show you 10 on how to budget your money wisely. There’s a good chance you won’t have to worry about finances ever again!
First, you’ll want to create a zero-based budget. Afterward, make joint budget goals with your spouse. Pay off debt and think about quitting the usage of credit cards. Also, create a monthly spending schedule and cut expenses here and there. Lastly, keep track of your progress and celebrate when needed!
Sure, this was just a sneak peek! We recommend you read the rest of the text! As always, here at Shoppanel, we’ll tackle more than the article’s title promises! Stay tuned!
Table of Contents
First things first, what is budgeting?
Okay, let’s see what do people actually mean when they recommend you make a budget. In simplest terms, budgeting is the process of you coming up with a spending plan. This plan is what we call a budget. All in all: making a budget means you’ll create a spending plan in advance (and stick to it, hopefully).
Why is making a budget an important topic?
Creating a budget is the most important task associated with money management. There’s no doubt about it! Still, many folks hesitate to do it. Why’s that so? Well, one can imagine that it reminds them of living under certain restrictions. Also, they might feel like they’re too financially unstable to make a budget.
The truth is: budgeting is a must, no matter how much you earn. We’ve made a list that will satisfy all your questions concerning this fact:
- You’ll make the most out of every single buck you earn! By creating a budget, you’ll be more careful with how you spend your salary.
- You’ll avoid overspending! The smile that will appear once you realize you’re free of any credit card debts doesn’t have a price.
- Budgeting will give you more confidence in everyday situations! You’ll be the one controlling the money, not the other way around!
- Lastly, budgeting helps you reach the goals you’ve set! It gives you the option of prioritizing your spending.
Okay, so now that we’ve got that covered, it’s time to move on. Continue reading to find out what are the 10 tips on how to budget your money wisely!
10 tips on how to budget your money wisely
Let’s see what are the things you can do in order to budget your money wisely. By following most (if not all) of these tips, you’ll be in total control of your spending!
#1 Create a so-called zero-based budget (before each month starts)
A zero-based budget? What’s that? The term stands for giving every single dollar a certain purpose. It means you’ll have to figure out where every cent of your salary goes to. Until you reach zero, that is.
By doing this before each month starts, you’ll have a clear picture of your spending. And that’s exactly what you need!
#2 Pay off debt
There’s no need to emphasize this one! Prioritize and pay off your debts rather than spend money on a vacation, for instance! You can use the famous snowball method for this task:
- Step 1: Make a list of all your debts, from the smallest to largest.
- Step 2: Next up, make minimum payments on each debt except the first on the list (smallest). Invest as much money as you can in paying it off. Once you’re done with it, take its payment and add it to the second-smallest debt. Of course, you shall continue making minimum payments on the rest of your debts.
- Step 3: Repeat until finished! The more you pay off, the more money you’ll be able to use. That’s why it’s called the snowball method!
#3 Apply teamwork
This one’s ideal for folks living together with their friends, spouses, or relatives! Create a budget working as a team. It doesn’t matter if there’s only the two of you. What matters is that you’re striving towards joint goals!
Make the whole ordeal a fun occasion by treating yourselves to some snacks and drinks! By combining two (or more) dreams into a single one, you won’t have to worry about the lack of motivation. Why? Because there won’t be any!
#4 Try lowering your energy bill
Nowadays, more and more folks are trying to save on energy bills! You might want to try out alternative ways of powering your home. The least you could do is obtain energy-efficient light bulbs. Also, if the weather outside gets cold, try putting on a sweater instead of turning on the heat.
#5 Make a monthly schedule
Your monthly spending habits are in desperate need of a structure! Come up with a monthly spending schedule and stick to it! You need routine! For example, you can set dates for when you’re paying bills! Also, set which days of the week you’ll do some grocery shopping. By knowing when and how much you’ll spend, you’ll avoid a lot of stress.
#6 Set a buffer zone in your budget
While you’re coming up with a budget, set a category aside and label it as miscellaneous. Use this buffer zone to handle unexpected expenses, without damaging your initial plan. If you notice something’s always showing up in this category, then… Yeah, just make it a permanent item in your budget.
#7 Enough with comparisons
Find a way to quit comparing your situation to someone else’s. If you’re doing that at all, that is. There’s no need to spend on this or that, just because everyone’s doing it! Not only you’ll always feel less valuable and equal, but you’ll ruin your budget also. Just do what you think is right for your family and yourself, and you’ll be just fine!
#8 Cut expenses here and there
The title’s another way of saying: don’t be afraid of some asceticism! Of course, you don’t want to go full-blown Buddhist-monk-style. Don’t be afraid to save some money by dining out less than you’re used to! Or, maybe you’d want to think about shopping for discount clothes? We’ll take a guess and say canceling the cable isn’t an option.
#9 Quit using credit cards
It does sound kind of rough, but it’s sometimes the best solution! If you really want to succeed in sticking to your budget/getting out of debt, that is. Say goodbye to credit card debt.
Without the debt, you’ll do away with some minimum payments contaminating your budget. Also, you won’t have to hassle with fees and/or high-interest rates. Not to mention the absence of stress that goes along with that. Geesh!
Anyway, keep your debit card close by and your cash even closer! Probably the best thing about debit cards is that the funds come directly out of your bank account!
#10 Track the progression
Don’t forget to check your progress every once in a while. If you’re married, talk with your spouse about the progress towards your joint goal(s)! If you’re doing this all by yourself, talk with friends. Explain how budgeting is pushing you forward! Also, never forget to celebrate little victories!
Bonus round: Budgeting tips and tricks (inconsistent income)
Did you know you can budget even if you don’t have a consistent income? Some people budget with an irregular income. So, how do they do it? Here’s what they recommend:
- Make a list of all the things that should be included in your budget. For example: givings, savings, the Four Walls (food, utilities, shelter, and transportation), etc.
- Always prioritize! Introduce some order to the list. Place necessities at the top.
- Just keep on going! Once you do away with the first item, feel free to continue!
Also, if you’re a senior in search of money-saving tips, visit this page.
10 Tips on how to budget your money wisely – a summary
We’re almost there, at the southern border of this article. Let’s see what you need to do in order to budget your money wisely:
- Create a so-called zero-based budget! Know the purpose of each dollar you earn.
- Pay off your debt! We recommend you employ the snowball method.
- Introduce teamplay (if possible)! If you’re not living alone, create joint budget goals.
- Try lowering the energy bill! Try introducing alternative powering to your home.
- Make a monthly schedule! Know when and how much you’ll spend.
- Set a buffer zone in your budget! Arrange some funds for unexpected expenses.
- Quit unfruitful comparisons! Don’t spend the way the others spend just because.
- Don’t be afraid to cut expenses here and there! Maybe you should forget about dining out for a while.
- Do away with credit cards! Eliminate the minimum payments from your budget.
- Track the progression! Celebrate small victories!
That’s about it, folks. Now you know some tips on how to budget your money wisely. Hope you’ve had a good time!