I am out here just living life and trying to be financially stable. I have learned a lot so far about keeping up with my finances, one of them being budgeting! So here are my budgeting for beginners tips and tricks and I have a handful that I think can really help. Budgeting falls into my love for organization and I love staying on top of a good budget. It allows me to live comfortably and live worry free. With my budgeting habits changing, I stopped worrying about if I had money to do one thing or another. Now I am barely checking my bank statements before making any purchases, because there is no need to. I know where my money is any I rely complete on my budgets!
My 8 tips for budgeting for beginners
- Prioritize: Take some time to figure out what matters most and what you want to be sure you always have money for. Think of these like your necessities. I budget my rent and monthly bills first because I want to be sure that I always have those covered.
- Have multiple accounts: I have 3 separate bank accounts. It has been a game changer. One account I use to only pay my bills. Every month I directly deposit money into that account to take care of all of my monthly bills, I only deposit a portion of my paycheck. In the bills bank account I set it up to auto pay all of my monthly bills and expenses. Some of those include (rent, electric bill, credit card, student loans, car payment, Bentley’s insurance, etc.). In my second account, I use it purely for saving money that I never want to see, and in a sense almost forget that I have. I deposit money into this saving account from every check. I use an online bank, so that it’s nothing that I can access very quickly. Online banking usually also has some really good perks. Lastly the remaining of my paycheck gets deposited into my third account. I use this account for the rest of my general spending. This account also has a savings attached there, so based on how my month looks, I try and throw in some extra savings into that account.
- Budget for categories that matter most to you: First. I prioritize my various expenses and making sure I have money to pay for all of my necessities. After that, I identify some other categories that matter a lot to me. Some of my other categories that I budget for are: gas, groceries, general shopping, dining out, pampering, going out money and I have a few others. Budget all of these after you budget your necessities. If you have hobbies that you usually spend money on, budget for those as well.
- Use your calendar to help you budget: I am a calendar and organization freak, and I am not afraid to shout it to the world! My calendar has every event for myself and even my boyfriend sometimes. I have found it so helpful to have a detailed and up to date calendar. As I am budgeting for the month, I can see that I have a happy hour, birthday party, dinner with some girlfriends or a vacation planned. I can plan and budget accordingly now. With the happy hour I know I will will need to have accounted for it in my going out budget category. Or with the birthday party I would know that I should budget a gift for the birthday person or maybe even buy myself a new outfit depending on the party. I would budget for all of that accordingly.
- Plan out a few months in advance (minimum): When you budget for the upcoming month and looking a few months out, it helps you to see if you need to be a little frugal during a few months to help with a large expense coming down the road. It just helps to alleviate the potential stress.
- Save: Whatever you can, always try to save something. Tip #2 shows how I save some. But when budgeting also think about any goals or events that you might need to tuck away some money for. For example, I am currently looking into buying a house, so I have a budgeting category for my future home. I tuck away some money every month to go towards that. Also in a couple of months I am going on another vacation with my boyfriend so as soon as this trip was on my radar, I created a budgeting category so that I had some money to take care of that trip.
- Have some flexibility and always adjust your budget: Don’t let budgeting get stressful. Life always changes and things always come up, so its important to build a flexible budget that you can always adjust where necessary.
- Use a tool you trust: I have tried so many tools and methods. Now, I have found one that I just absolutely love and trust completely. Having a tool of system that works best for you and your life will help you stay on budget. It will also help you get to where you want to be financially.
My favorite budgeting tool
I use YNAB for all of my budgeting needs. I love it because it makes you account for every cent that you have. Every penny that you have has a purpose. This is the only tool that I have used that allowed me to see and feel the pain of going over budget. Maybe I will do a separate post on YNAB because it has really changed my life. But I would recommend this tool to anyone. Being smart about your money and staying on budget takes real discipline and a tool like this is perfect for keeping you accountable.
Alright everyone, I’m sorry this was such a long post, but I am so passionate about organization and budgeting. I will have more related content on they way too!