Ever wonder why paychecks disappear quicker then they appear?
Welcome back to the second part in our three-part series about the beginning phases of making a budget work for you and achieving savings goals! This weeks post is about making that paycheck work for you rather then you working for your paycheck. If you haven’t had a change to read part one, then I would recommend starting here:
As you saw we discussed a needs verses wants exercise that helped determine where all those precious paychecks are going. I am in no way shape or form a professional when it comes to budgeting. I leave that to those who do it for a living. As mentioned in an earlier post how my husband and I attended Financial Peace University, by Dave Ramsey and would recommend it a million times to anyone who asked.
However, I have found a few tricks that seem to have helped my husband and I when it came to make this a successful plan for the two of us.
Marriage is tough sometimes without the added stress of financial troubles. Many have family members and children they care for, problems at work, problems with health and much more. Luckily my husband and I had none of these things. However, I stressed constantly about finances because I had no idea where our money was going on a regular basis. That paycheck just seemed to disappear every week. Hence the needs vs wants exercise. Next, I needed to figure out how to make what we were bring in on a regular basis cover everything we both needed and wanted.
Below you will find a few ways to help stretch that monthly budget, these are commonly known by some and new to many. These were the few that made the most sense for us.
- The One Week Rule: If you want it, wait one week and then decide if you still want it. This speaks to my little impulse shopping heart. I love payday because that meant I could go out and shop! Shopping was a social event when I was younger and buying what I saw when I saw it was a way of life. Many people set a limit, for instance wait one week before large purchases. For me I needed to wait one week with almost everything until I had control over what I was doing with the cash in my pocket. You will be surprised how much stuff no longer matters a week later.
- Be Aware of Budget Busters: I have two… well three… well maybe we won’t count them. For some reason about a year ago I grew this new obsession with Dunkin Donuts. My justification was it was cheaper then Starbucks. Funny part is I never went to Starbucks often. I didn’t realize how much I was spending until I downloaded their app. It was replenishing every couple days. Good for some bad for others, after the third $10 transfer in one week (oh my hubby likes it too) I was deleting that app faster then I could drive home
- Find Free Stuff: There is loads of it out there. If you need a tool, check with a friend or family member. Borrow and return it! On the side of the road after a garage sale weekend I found 6 large Tupperware storage bins. Those things are expensive! In addition to that find free things to do. Communities offer films in the park, you can have a bonfire in your yard, or even attend a free concert at a farmer’s market. There are lots of options out there if you just start to look for them.
These three easy steps are just some of the ways we have begun to take control of our finances. The information provided in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University was just the push we needed to figure out what works for us. I encourage you to do the same! Give it a try and teach your children to do the same.