Hey all my beautiful sisters out there! I hope everything is fine with you and your new year is going well!. As a quick caveat, don’t forget that we will have our first BGH book club meeting this week. I encourage you all to be there!
So now that my shameless plug is out of the way, I am here to bring you my top budget hacks that can help you get off on the right foot. I’ve mentioned several times in 2019 that it is important to you actual health, that you are also financially healthy. In my Top 3 ways to get your finances on track post I talked about making a budget, and how just expense tracking is not enough. For those of us who aren’t sure, expense tracking is simply just keeping a count of how much money you’re spending. While knowing your expenditures and fixed expenses is very important to your financial health, its only one piece of it. You need a plan! If you have more money then you need for your expenses then what can you do with the excess? What are your financial goals? While we won’t be talking about financial goal setting specifically in this post, we will at some point in the future, it’s still important to have an idea of what your goals are. Once you know what you’re moving towards its easier to make a plan, and that plan (your budget) is why we are here today.
These are my top budget hacks for 2019 that I think we should try to implement and maybe we will do some of these together.
- Do a challenge – there are many challenges out there that can help you get saving (check some out here)! You can do a challenge just to get an emergency fund built up, or you can use it for some kind of reward. The choice is yours, the point is to just challenge yourself and to rewire your brain to be more goal oriented financially, and disciplined.
- Build your rewards in – I hate a budget that is all about cutting things out and discipline, those types of budgets don’t have any built in motivation or rewards. Like with the challenge, give yourself something to work towards. The key is is to not make your reward everything that you’ve saved. For example, if you save up $2000 then spending $800 on some Louboutins is reasonable in my opinion (maybe not to others). However if you only save $800, then it’s not reasonable.
- Be for real – This is a big one. I did this for years and wondered why I could never stick to a budget. I know for a fact I wont cook every meal I eat, so I need a budget for dining out (or Postmates which it tends to be most of the time). Don’t make your budget unreasonable because you would be setting yourself up to fail and discouraging your future progress.
- Look for additional income or side hustles – This one is huge. Most people are living paycheck to paycheck and can barely afford rent. If that’s your case, you don’t have a spending problem as much as you have an income problem. With side hustles being so popular and easy to get into these days, think about how you can turn some of your habits or interests into extra income.
- Speak with a professional or even use an app, just don’t “DIY” it – The most important aspect of your budget is savings. Saving for emergencies, college, home purchase, and retirement should be at the forefront of your budget. Knowing exactly how much you should have (or what you’re on track to have) is a complex computation that should be done by experts, online calculators, or even apps. Stop guessing, and potentially underfunding the most important aspects of your life.
So those are my top 5 budget tips on creating and sticking to your budget. We are creating a new more balanced life for ourselves. The tranquility and stability taking control of your finances can provide is a great way to improve your mental health and even your physical health in some ways. Let’s take our budgets seriously together, and create the future that we want.
And don’t forget to live your best life sis! (reasonably lol)