Whether you’re comfortable with your money or not, budgeting is an essential part of building a healthy relationship with your finances. Knowing how to save for the future while also having enough for the present will provide you with the freedom you’ve been searching for.
Budgeting Ideas To Make Your Paychecks Last
If you’re strapped for cash and want to start budgeting month to month in order to achieve this financial freedom, follow along! We’ll give you the best budgeting ideas to stretch your paycheck and achieve your financial dreams.
1. Budget Before the Month Starts
A great way to start budgeting is to sit down, before the month starts, and plan out where every single dollar will go. Think about how much you typically spend on groceries, utilities, rent, and all your other expenses and subtract that from your monthly income.
There are a few different methods to do this, but a great one is the zero-based budget method, where you budget so that your income minus all your expenses equals zero.
2. Start With What Matters Most
Take care of your true necessities before you budget for anything else. This should include your home, food, transportation, and basic clothing. Everything else comes later.
3. Pay Off Debt
If you’re still battling student loans, or have any other type of outstanding debt, make that a priority. After covering your basic needs listed above, start allocating a specific percentage of your monthly income towards loans. You’ll build a consistent cash-outflow that, in a few months, you won’t even miss.
4. It Changes Every Month
The reason why you should sit down before each month to plan for it is that every month is different. You need to plan for birthdays, vacations, holidays, and down-payments to avoid them sneaking up on you. So, before you sit down to plan out your month, think about important dates coming up.
5. It’s a Team Effort
If you’re married or live with your significant other, don’t ignore them through this process! You should set up a budget that works for you and your partner, or you and your family, so as to get everyone’s needs covered. They can also help keep you accountable, so it’s a win-win situation!
6. Create a Buffer Amount
We all have unexpected expenses. Make sure you account for those as well. Set up a specific amount every month to be used for unexpected expenses, so you don’t run out of cash when you need it the most.
7. Track Your Exact Income
If you work shifts or your income varies from month to month for other reasons, make sure you’re tracking your exact income. This will help you allocate every dollar where it needs to be without crude or unreliable estimates.
ThePayStubs is a great website for this. They can help you generate pay stubs to keep track of your salary information!
Budgeting is the first step to financial freedom. It can help us realize where we’re spending too much money and where we should be spending a little more (like paying off our debt!). It should liberate you from financial stress and help build a healthy relationship with money.
If you enjoyed these budgeting ideas and you’re interested in learning more about personal finance and good financial decisions, don’t hesitate to check out our other content.