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Monthly budget tips

25 Jan Posted by in Money | Comments
Monthly budget tips
 

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Are you living paycheck to paycheck, wondering where in the world all your hard earned money goes each month? If so, I know you aren’t the only one!

Each month I review our budget and adjust in categories if I need to. One of the hardest areas of our budget has always been food, we used to LOVE to go out to eat. With four kids, that makes the money we spend eating out a pretty hefty bill.

The first thing I do is look at how many times I will be paid in the month so that I know where my base will start. My husband is a realtor, so we base the amount of money that we will use from his business from the commissions he earned from the previous month. I do the same thing with my fitness business income.

I then begin to break out, in order of importance, the types and amounts of bills we have for the month.

These include the following:

Mortgage
Savings
Child care
Utilities
Groceries
Automobile – insurance and gas, can’t get to and from work without it right? 😉
Student loans
Credit cards

Then we take a look at what is left and break out some more into the following categories:

Recreation
Clothing
Medical/Dental
Personal

We no longer use credit cards for purchases, so everything is purchased with cash through our personal bank account.

For a few months we were even so strict with ourselves that we only purchased our grocery with cash. We would pull money out of our checking account that we had set aside for groceries for the month. We put that money into an envelope and only used it to buy groceries. It helped us build a habit of only buying what we absolutely needed and to no longer take the easy way out and go out to eat. If the money wasn’t there, we didn’t eat and that was NOT an option because food is important! It taught us self control, to enjoy eating at home, be more creative with our meals and helped me to better plan ahead.

If we want things to change, we need to change things! Living paycheck to paycheck doesn’t have to be a way of life for anyone. Simple changes and focused mindset on what matters most, will make a huge difference.

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