Stop Living Check-to-Check: Your Simple Budgeting Plan in 4 Steps

Saturday, May 2, 2015, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Money, or the lack thereof, affects every aspect of a person’s life: personal relationships, social lives, patience levels for children, etc. Does it sound like an impossible dream to pay for everything you need with your current income?

Here are four steps to revitalize your budget.

Stop Living Check to Check

  1. Track Your Expenses

    The first step is to figure out what your money is being spent on. This can be achieved in a variety of ways such as recording your expenses by keeping receipts or scrutinizing last month’s bank statement.

    Sente Mortgage provides an interesting twist to this traditional budgeting idea: write down the expenses you THINK you are spending your money on before tracking. Then, compare that to the ACTUAL amount you spent throughout the month.

  2. Replace With Like Items

    See if you can replace your normal item with a like item. For example, every day, you buy an expensive drink from the local coffee shop, costing at least 25 dollars weekly.

    Ask the shop if they sell their coffee beans in a bag or in K-cups. You easily cut your coffee cost by 75 percent each month by brewing at home without sacrificing your need for caffeine.

  3. Think About Your Strengths

    Were you a good student in school? Do you have a unique hobby? These can be money-makers. Tutors can conduct lessons online for as few as five hours a week at some sites.

    Hobbies such as woodworking, pen-making, or painting can be profitable due to the power of the internet. The benefit with these income boosters is that you are earning money while relaxing.

  4. Cash and Envelopes

    Most people have difficulty tracking items when they use a debit card. Try Dave Ramsey’s envelope system. Take half of what you’re budgeting for groceries or gas and place it in an envelope. That money has to last you half the month and must only be spent on the item named on the outside of the envelope. No cheating allowed!

Regardless of how you increase your income or decrease your spending, the bottom line is mindfulness. Awareness about spending habits is an important first step.

In today’s world, a simple step like using cash to pay for purchases can be a real eye opener. Use your hidden talents to not only bring in some extra income but to allow you to reduce your stress. Your family and friends will thank you for it.

Author BIO

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

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