5 Tips to Start Budgeting

Taking on new habits can be tough especially when it's something as important as your finances. Budgeting can be an overwhelming thing to start. We've been budgeting consistently for over a year and I still feel like I'm figure it out! Don't let it overwhelm you to the point where you don't start. Here's 5 tips to get your started on your budgeting journey. 

Write it down
Budgeting doesn't work if it's all in your head. As much as we say we're going to remember and make sure we don't spend a ton this month it's really hard if you don't have it in writing. You don't have to create anything from scratch anymore if you don't want to. We've been using the EveryDollar budgeting app for the past year and it's worked great for us. Maybe you're an old school excel person. Figure out what works best and write down your budget each month.

Make it together
If you have a significant other make sure to sit down and work on the budget together. Budgeting doesn't work if it's just one of you who is ok with it. Make sure you both get on the same page with what you're going to be spending your money on that month. If you just need to worry about yourself all the better, hopefully it's a much faster conversation!

Use the previous month as a starting point
When Kevin and I sit down to make our budget with the new month we always look at the previous month. There are a lot of expenses like housing, internet and Netflix to name a few that are the same charge every month. Since these costs are the same it makes it easier to work on your budget next month. EveryDollar lets you pull over the previous months budget so you have less work to do which is super nice and I appreciate how it helps us cut down on the work.

Always be trimming
Part of the point of a budget is to see where you could be trimming and saving money. So obviously if you're not actively working to trim each month the budget isn't helping with your saving goal. Every month Kevin and I talk through our spending together and we each share our thoughts on how we spent our fun money. We work to see where we can spend less the next month. 

Track all your expenses
This seems pretty obvious but a lot of times people think that budgeting is just the big stuff. The small stuff adds up and it can add up fast. I'll admit in June when the craft stores opened back up there was a lot of great clearance. I went a little nuts and forgot some of the charges in our budget. Luckily I was still way under my fun money budget for the month but it could have been bad if I has spent more and not tracked it.

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