Today I have a guest post from Jacki. She helps people create a budget, gain confidence with their money, and make a debt freedom plan. Through financial coaching and blogging, Jacki loves to make budgeting easy and painless for people even if they are just starting out. Find out more at Big Picture Budget.
Budgeting is an intimidating word, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s as simple as getting a written plan telling your money where to go. Groceries are a huge part of your budget so you’re already a step ahead if you know how to use coupons and manage how much you spend on groceries. Let’s talk about three potential budget problem spots and how to fix them.
Budget problem spot 1: Not having a budget.
You can’t have a good budget if you don’t have a budget and you can’t know if you’re spending more than you planned if you don’t know how much you planned to spend. An easy way to get started and create your first budget is by using the free budget template.
Budget problem spot 2: Spending too much money eating (and drinking) out at restaurants or events.
Eating out can be very expensive, especially if you’re also ordering alcohol. Now I’m not telling you to never eat out, but if you’re working to get out of debt or trying to save for a vacation, you might want to cut back a little to save some money. Consider inviting your friends to your house for a potluck to save money, but still have fun. For added fun, add a theme like appetizers, taco night, or desserts.
Budget problem spot 3: Continuing to spend more money than you have at your favorite stores.
This is a tough one. You really have to know your weaknesses. Some people walk into Target for shampoo and get to the checkout with $200 worth of stuff. One way to avoid this is to avoid going into the store. Make it a challenge- bet yourself that you can’t go 1 week without walking in the store. Then when that weekends, challenge yourself to another week. Another way is to not get a cart when you enter the store. This way you can only leave with a handful of items. The final suggestion is to use only cash for purchases on your challenging areas. If you don’t bring your credit cards into the store, you can only spend as much cash as you have in your pocket.
Budgeting isn’t easy, but it can help you achieve your financial goals. When you start your budget it’s extremely important to prepare for budget problems so you’ll know what to do when it gets tough. When you’re prepared for challenges, you’ll know how to keep going when you face them.
Thank you so much, Jacki, for your Article!