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Budgets. Jody Allen said it well with ” Think of budgets as a diet for your money. Just like diets, budgets can be tough to stick to. ” That hits the nail on the head!

How many of you stick to your weekly or monthly budget? Do you allot so much for food, so much for entertainment, gas, etc? Do you keep it all in the checkbook or do you use the envelope system? Hmm… lots of questions for you to ponder. Budgets keep you on track for the month and while I do not do it whole-heartedly, the envelope system works the best. I have not taking Dave Ramsey’s course – Financial Peace but have had friends explain it to me. Basically for the envelope system alone, you label envelopes with different categories that pertain to your lifestyle and each week or month, depending on how you get paid, you withdraw your cash from your bank and allot different amounts into each category. When you have spent the money in that particular envelope, it is gone you cannot take from another envelope to use it for a different reason.

That envelope system did help me to save for tires, a trip to see my Gram and Herbal classes. By keeping it in the bank, it gets lost among the fixed bills like electric, phone, mortgage, you get the picture. With your budget the way it is now, I hope this far into the challenge you do have some sort of budget, can you start to put a few dollars away, whatever is most comfortable – for something special or for a rainy day? Early in the challenge, actually a day or two prior to Day 1,  I asked you all to make a 23 Day Frugal Living money box – did you do it? If so you have been adding to it every time you saved on purchasing or NOT purchasing an item?

homemade piggy bank

Here is a guest post from FG with Jody Allen of Stay At Home Mum – enjoy!

“Write it Down!
To be accountable for your spending, first you need to know where it’s going – in plain black and white!  That means sitting down with pen and paper or using a spreadsheet to find our your financial position.  Think of it like a food diary – you write down what you eat to see where your going wrong – this is exactly the same thing.  Be brutally honest.  If your not sure – keep every receipt for a fortnight and log them into your budget – you will soon see where that money is going – and once you know where it is going – you can work on how to reduce it ie ‘cutting the fat’.

Set up the following categories:

  • Rent/Mortgage Repayments
  • Utilities (Electricity, gas, water)
  • Phone, Mobile and Internet Expenses
  • Insurance (House, Health, Life, Car etc)
  • Car, Transportation and Tickets
  • Food and Clothing
  • Medical
  • Entertainment
  • Other (debts, gym memberships etc)
  • SAVINGS!!!!

Savings are very important.  You would have heard of ‘Paying yourself first’ – so true.  But decide on the amount after you have completed your budget!  Put that money in a separate account that has a good interest rate!

Work Towards a Goal!
If you have never lived by a budget before – this is the easiest way for you to start – have something to work towards.  Now it can even be a frivolous thing such as a holiday – but what you will learn on the way will be invaluable. Work out how many weeks you have to pay for your holiday – and work it into your budget.  If not a holiday – make it something you really really want – it’s the disciplined saving that you will learn along the way!

Treat Yourself Every So Often!
So you’ve been sticking to your budget for say two whole weeks without a single slip up – schedule yourself a treat.  Now don’t let that treat spoil the entire point of saving – make it something small but something you like.  A night at the movies or a lovely take-out lunch. Something you can really enjoy that won’t break the bank.  By rewarding yourself every so often, it will be easier to stay on the ‘financial diet’.

 Make Your Budget Workable!
Be strict on yourself, but not so strict you can’t possibly live or really ‘resent’ the budget.  Make it work to fit your lifestyle.  Most financial institutions now have a free financial advice service – use it!  Or if you have a financially savvy friend that you trust with your financial situation – let them look over your budget and help you out.  In fact seek our friends or family that are great with money – and find out what makes them tick.  Most people love to talk finance and it’s great to learn from someone that has done it first hand!

Of course living frugally and simply will help your bank account grow faster!  ”

Now It’s Your Turn

Daily Goal:
Make a budget. Here some additional resources to assist you:

Let me know where you are it in this one and if I can help at all.

Have a beautiful day today!

Anne-Marie

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