Time for what you ask?
Well, I have something super exciting to talk about today. Wait for it…
Today’s post is the first in a mini-series about beginner budgeting! [And the crowd goes wild!]
Wait, where are you going?! Stay! I promise it’ll be worth it.
I know what some of you may be thinking. Budgeting? *YAWN*. But budgeting really is something to get jazzed about! Maybe not the day to day tracking of figures (although the nerd in me thrives on navigating the minutiae of a well organized budget), but definitely the perks that come from mindful spending, saving, and planning for your future.
No, I am not a financial guru. I have no finance degree, certification, or accreditation. But I have had success following a simple household budget. This invaluable tool has allowed me and my husband to pay off a considerable amount of debt, cut up our credit cards (yes, with scissors), and refrain from taking on any additional debt since beginning the process. Believe me when I say that it is life changing.
I often find it helpful to hear how others manage their money and use their budget to help them achieve their financial goals. So, I’ve decided to share my own experience with budgeting and some of the things that have worked for me and the hubs over the course of our budgeting journey.
Starting a budget is a messy process. You never get it completely right the first time you do it, and no matter how many times you think you’ve finally figured it out, you often find that you are sorely mistaken.
To be honest, part of that messiness never really changes. There is always something new to track or something to adjust or tweak. That is because the way we spend our money is constantly changing.
Budgets are not designed to be static, not unless you’re a robot who doesn’t make varied or spontaneous purchases.
For the majority of us, our priorities, needs, and wants change with time, therefore our spending reflects the same dynamic process.
The key to budgeting success is knowing how to get started and how to adjust to the inevitable ups and downs.
I thought back to when my husband and I first began following a budget, and identified the very first steps we followed to simply get started. Are these the only steps you’ll need to follow? Maybe not. Each person’s journey is different, because each person’s financial situation is different. Personal finance is just that. Personal.
But I am confident that these key stepping stones and reminders will help even the most budget illiterate among us (no judgement – I used to be one!!) crawl out of their financial hole and start the process of taking control of their money. Some of these seem pretty obvious, but bear with me.
- Know how much money you make.
- Track your expenses.
- Assign every penny a destination.
- Start. Right. Now.
- Be flexible.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be going into each of these areas in more detail, sharing a few of my own experiences along the way.
But, because I hate cliffhangers, I will be sharing the first tip tomorrow rather than next Tuesday. So keep your eyes peeled.