How can anyone stay on budget when everything is so expensive?!
Staying on a budget is extremely hard. Especially when you’re young, broke, and have multiple bills piling up. It gets more frustrating when certain bills go into collections.
I’m there, I know the feeling. Keep the faith! It will get better!
I don’t know what they all taught you in school, but they didn’t teach me how to budget!
They taught me the Pythagorean Theorem, or how to remove intestines from frogs. But definitely not how to manage money and budget!
Well fear not, I’m here! And I’m the queen of budgeting and organization! At the end, I’ll attach a link to download a FREE BUDGET TEMPLATE. I created a whole binder from it!
If you want something a little different, take a look at my Pinterest board: Budgets.
Budgeting doesn’t come naturally for everyone. Before I lived on my own, I could manage my money, no problem! But now I live on my own and it’s a whole different ball game. Instead of spending my money on fun things, I pay bills. Instead of buying myself delicious food, I buy animal food.
BUT! I find myself splurging…a lot.
My excuse…I need so many new things because all my stuff is worn out. Or all my money goes to bills and to nothing fun. Or simply, just go to the grocery store hungry.
So instead of saving money, I sometimes spend a lot of it.
That’s why I need to budget! Budgeting and finding the sales is the way to go.
(A blog on Coupons is coming soon! I didn’t want to overwhelm)
Sometimes it’s hard to to figure out where to start. You’re so overwhelmed with money and where to spend it; what bills get paid and when. So I suggest: get pen and paper…Right now! We’ll do this together! **DON’T FORGET THE WINE. It’ll help ease the stress.
** Disclaimer I am not a budgeting expert. I just know what has worked for me.
Okay, so first we’re going to make a rough draft. That way you can cross things off and move things around.
You need to make Categories:
- Income (knowing how much money is coming in)
- Housing (Rent/Mortgage, repairs, home improvement, etc.)
- Utilities (Heat, electricity, telephone, water, trash)
- Loans (credit cards, student loans, other loans)
- Food (eating out, groceries.etc.)
- Transportation (car payments, auto insurance, gas, maintenance and repair, fee — tags, registration)
- Subscriptions (iptsy bag, snack box, bark box, etc.)
- Going out (amusement parks, museums, go karting, etc.)
- Bar tab
- Appointment (nail, hair, etc.)
- Doggie Daycare
- Vet Bills
Personalize yours! You don’t have to use the exact same categories. For example, I have a Dunkin’ Donuts category since I go every morning! Yum!
Also, if you have children, add a children category. Think of expenses: clothes, school, food, sports/activities.
This is what my rough draft looks like:
I put in two monthly incomes because, I use to have 2 jobs. I currently only have 1. You can use it for a spouses income, or other form of income.
Put all your expenses in each spot! If a bill varies each month, put the MOST you think it would be. It’s better to over budget, than to under budget.
Also, if you don’t have an expense this month, then don’t put it! Or if you know, later in the month, an expense is going to happen…put it in there!
At the bottom of your rough draft, add a TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSE & MONEY SAVED
Add it all up, buttercup! Drink that wine to!
There you go. That’s what you’re spending this month. Take a deep breath, it’ll be okay. Just think, you could have no job, no house/apartment, or no car.
With that money left over you can save some, and have some fun money.
Now if you’re like me, you’re thinking, “Well I get paid bi-weekly/weekly/bi-monthly/etc., I want to budget per pay check“. Don’t worry girl, I got you!
Make another rough draft, but weekly. Put your paycheck income at the top, your weekly expenses under your categories, take a drink of wine, and add it up.
Put your WEEKLY EXPENSES at the bottom, as well as MONEY LEFT OVER. That way you can determine what you’re weekly “fun money” would be.
Do this each week! You can make your own template on MicroSoft Word, or add functions with MicroSoft Excel. The link I’ll add to the bottom has multiple budget pages to choose from!
Living on a budget still means you can have fun!
There is TONS and TONS of FREE things to do, or do without spending those $$Benjamins$$.
Here are a few ideas:
- Dog park
- Forest Preserve/Parks
- Sell your stuff! (declutter your home. Use the app OfferUp, Letgo, Facebook Market, eBay, Craigslist, host your own garage sale)
- Free movie/music in the park
- Bike ride
- Have a bon fire (make S’mores!)
- Make a new recipe
- Visit a free museum
- Re-design your room/move some furniture around
- Build a fort
- Binge Netflix, eat popcorn, and have a fun night in
- Play a Video Game
- Look on Groupon
- Farmers Market/Flea Market
- Read a good book in the park
- Hang with a sibling/parent
The possibilities are endless.
I love taking my dog on an adventure! It’s fun to watch him swim or run around like a giant goof ball. I’ve also picked up gardening. I’m growing my own vegetables so I don’t have to pay for them at the grocery store!
Since you’re on a budget, you’re going to want to look for those sales! Especially around summer holidays, grocery stores have TONS of sales.
If you haven’t already discovered these AMAZING apps, try these to help find sales!
- Ibotta – A great app that will allow you to get rebates for grocery shopping. Just keep the receipt, so you can scan the food and take a picture of it when you get home. The app gives you different options of food each week! And sometimes, you’ll just get a rebate for sending in a receipt!
- RetailMeNot is AMAZING for finding those sales and even coupons!
- Flipp is great for the store ads that come out! The flyers you get in the mail, don’t throw those out! They contain great information on what’s on sale.
- Coupons.Com is a live safer! They allow free printable coupons for your use at any time! (Again, there will be an upcoming blog on how to extreme coupon)
What also is awesome is a lot of stores do Price Compare.
Jewel OSCO and Walmart are great for this! You can get chicken and meat for cheap!! Make sure your local grocery store allows price comparison. Then, bring in your store flyer that has the cheaper price and BOOM you just saved money!
I went to Best Buy to buy the newest season of Big Bang Theory on Blue Ray. I’m extremely cheap, so buying any DVD for over $20 is ridiculous to me.
I got out my phone and started looking online. I found the same DVD cheaper at another store, by $10! I asked an associate if they allow price comparison. They said yes, and show the lower price at the cash register.
BOOM! Newest season of Big Bang Theory for only $15. Now tell me that’s not amazing.
Now, if you’re looking for an FREE app that can help you budget, I’ve tested and tried a bunch. Here are a few that worked:
- Mint: Personal Financing
- Goodbudget Budget Planner
Try these out and see what helps you the most!
If budget Binders aren’t your thing. No worries! Check out the Cash Envelope System. Budget Mom is AMAZING. She has a great Blog! Go check her out and see what else she has.
Go Check out my Pinterest Page for TONS more ideas on blogging, budgets, organization, recipes and more!
Alright, so here we are! Here’s the link you’ve been waiting for. The link that allowed me to create my budget binder. Click the picture and it’ll take you. (You’ll have to scroll all the way to the bottom, add your email, and it’ll automatically download!)
Note: I did not make this template! I want to share another blogger’s genius template idea and craftiness. Go visit the website! It’s wonderful!
Let me know what you think! Let me know what works for you! Leave some comments and give this blog a LIKE and a SHARE.
Stay thrifty my friends!