Creating a budget that works your family is as simple as taking the first few steps. With just a few small efforts on your part, you can move towards decreasing your monthly bills, paying off debt, and putting aside savings for emergencies.
If you’re ready to start a budget that stretches your paycheck, then take a look at the basics to get you started.
Create a Spreadsheet
The first step is to sit down and create a physical budget that you can see and refer to.
Gather a list of all of your incoming and outgoing expenses at the beginning of each month. You should include everything you foresee yourself having to pay for, from scheduling eye exams to paying for school lunches. The only way to manage your money is to know exactly where it needs to go each month. That way you’ll be able to take control.
If you’ve never used a spreadsheet program like Excel before, then you may want to download one of the many apps available for your smartphone.
You should check in with your budget every day and enter each expense. By doing so, you’ll have a clear understanding of how much money is left for each area of your spending.
If you wing your finances every month, then you’ll never reach any sort of goals. However, if you create clear and attainable goals for yourself and make efforts every day, then eventually you’ll achieve them.
Why struggle and accept this as a way of life, when you can choose to make changes for the good of your family?
Aggressively Pay Off Debt
Even the smallest amount of debt can feel unmanageable. The only way to get out from a mountain of debt is to pay it off as fast as you can.
You may not be able to pay it off all at once; however, with a consistent effort over time, you can make it closer to being debt free. By using your budget as a tool, you’ll be able to use any money left over to pay off as much debt as possible. The sooner you pay off your debt, the less interest that you’ll pay over time.
Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses
It’s easy to find yourself spending money left and right on frivolous things. However, your best bet to save money is to only spend your money on things that you absolutely need.
When you go shopping, have a list ready to go and don’t stray from the plan.
Try to be creative with ways that you can DIY or buy used when you can. It may take a little extra effort on your part; however, when you have money left over for more important things like travel, you’ll see that it’s well worth it.