Friday, July 10, 2015, AM | Leave Comment
If you feel like you never have enough money the week before payday, you’re not alone. Budgeting can be hard, especially when it comes to multi-person households. However, if you are new to a budget, there are a few tips that can make it easier:
Examine ALL your Expenses
Take a look at what you spent last year, and find all the bills. Not everything is paid every month, or even every other month. Many bills are annual or semi-annual.
Consider the little stuff as well– subscriptions, your annual AAA membership, or other things that seem paltry alone but can add up. Use these to figure out your expense numbers for each month of the year. This should be the real basis for your budget.
Once you have those numbers, figure out how much is left to save in addition to this. Then work with your bank to have it deposited separately from the rest of your paycheck, and don’t give yourself easy access to the money.
Do you have cable, Netflix and Hulu? Consider dropping the cable and watching your shows online. Eat in more than you eat out. Find your indulgences and cut back on them. Don’t cut them completely away, though, or you risk a rebound binge.
Pull Out Cash
Automate your bills, and buy things like food with cash. When the money’s gone, it’s gone. Cash is a much easier way to stay disciplined and stick to a pre-set budget. This is especially handy if you tend to have an area, like food spending, where you don’t always stay in budget.
Check out Free Stuff
Libraries, parks, and other free things are all around us. Many museums offer free admission one day a month. Look for these deals and take advantage. Groups found in locations like meetup.com will introduce you to lots of people doing fun, free things.
Sell What You Don’t Need
Are you keeping things because they’re too good to throw away? Then find someone who agrees with you, and is willing to pay you good money to use it rather than letting it sit unloved and dusty on a shelf. Craigslist, ebay, and other sites let you find new places for your treasures, and reward you with cash.
Keep Track of What You Should Have
Sites like Check Stub Maker will allow you to figure out what you should be making versus paying in taxes. This allows you to be sure you are paid fairly.
Budgeting is not easy, but with a little patience and work, it can be done well. If you fail, don’t quit, just readjust and try again. Happy budgeting!
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter: @RachelleWilber