I am constantly going on about how I am on a budget so I often get asked how do you budget ? Well, it is Friday so let me tell you
How to Kick Ass at Budgeting.
Well before we start let me be honest I haven’t always been good at budgeting and sometimes I have fallen big time, but the only way to get back on the horse is to jump back into it, especially if like me your income has changed dramatically.
Facing your debt head on
First thing first you have to be totally honest with yourself about your debts – so go get every bill, every loan statement, every credit card bill, and Credit Union Loan and write it down – it will be scary at first but you need to know what you are facing to make a plan.
If you can’t face this alone my suggestion is to go to a Government Budgeting service, in Ireland that is MABS and they are experts at helping people.
MABS helpline is open 9am – 8pm Monday to Friday -076107200 and their website is HERE they can also help negotiate with your creditors if things are bad.
Once you have got passed the hard bit of admitting the debt – it is on to the Kickass budgeting.
HOW TO KICK ASS AT BUDGETING
Budgeting has nothing to do with self-denial – it’s simply about making a plan for how you will spend your money over a specific period. In my case, it is monthly but for you,it could be weekly.
I have designed a budget form you can fill in and use – which you can download HERE .
(My Budget is in Euro’s as I am Irish but you can change the currency and you add extra categories in Excel)
- Fill in your budget sheet and access your incoming money, your projected out-going money and then you can fill in how much actually went out on what. It will show you what your biggest spends are and hopefully where you can cut back.
- Again if you don’t know how to fill in a budget or want someone to walk you through is try budgeting apps like You Need a Budget which you can use for 34 days free, they walk you through it step by step and the only reason I don’t is because it geared toward American’s and I am Irish.
How to save money if you need too
- If you incomings don’t match your outgoings, is to find things you can cut back on – for example; you can reduce your grocery budget by menu planning – I have a detailed post here describing how to do that HERE. Menu Planning saves you money in the shops and cuts back on waste.
- You could also try renegotiating your Utility bills to reduce them – websites like Bonkers.ie help you compare and decide on your cheapest options. Also don’t be afraid to ring your suppliers and tell them you are thinking of moving sometimes they offer you money off incentives to stay.
- Just remember to weigh up your needs -a roof over your head, food, electricity, with your wants like entertainment, cable , that extra large latte at Starbucks. If money is tight focus only on needs.
- Set up a saving account even if you start small my aim last year was to save €1000 this is my buffer, my rainy day cushion , my “the dog needs stitches again!” fund – I joined my local credit union and had them take the money for my saving straight from my wages. I don’t even think about it anymore. I just know that it is there if I need it.
How to bring in more money
You can always try and up your income here are a few ideas how
- try asking for a raise ( it couldn’t hurt !)
- taking on extra hours or overtime
- turn your hobby into a money earner,
- make money doing surveys like Swagbucks I do this to make money for my Amazon purchase which is very handy for birthdays and Christmas.
- Sell things you no longer need on sites like Buy and Sell or Done Deal.
- Start a money making blog ( no I haven’t mastered this one yet but I know it works for others !)