One day we went out to lunch with some friends of ours. We had found a great new restaurant that was offering killer deals while they were building up their clientele. When we sat down, my husband’s “Budget Nerdiness” came out of him and he said, “Wow, wasn’t that an incredible deal?! We got like 3 out of 4 meals for free!” Our friends said, “Oh, we didn’t even pay attention to what we paid.” Wow. I know I
I am super-passionate about budgeting. Maybe because I was such a hot mess financially, for so long. There is a big secret when it comes to being financially-savvy.
Here are a few of the myths when it comes to living on a budget:
- Some are good at budgeting and others are not.
- You have to be super organized to live on a budget.
- You only budget if you don’t have much money.
- You only budget if you make a ton of money.
- You will never spend any money ever again.
- You will never be able to have fun, go out to eat or celebrate.
(I had some of these thoughts & all of these fears, too.)
Let me encourage you as a #recoveringspendaholic. Just today, I received texts asking me about budgeting! Hilarious! So, if a former over-spender can remake herself into a Budgeting Guru, you can, too!
I’m here to tell you the biggest secret to being able to live successfully on a budget. Budgeting is hard if you are keeping receipts, trying to track them and put them into categories and not overspend. You’ve got to make it easy to stay on a budget, know how much you are spending and on what. Do you want to know what the big secret is?
Yep, it’s all about that cash, baby! Using cash helps you realize you have a finite amount of money. Like a kid, we act like there is no end to the money when we swipe. But, when you have $300 in a grocery spending envelope and you hand over $250, you definitely feel it. There is no longer a vague sense of how much money you’ve spent this month. This feeling, in turn, will help you make wiser financial choices. Our friends were a great example of how mindless you become with your spending, when you swipe a card.
We use a cash budget. I have a file of envelopes that where we put our monthly cash budget for different categories, such as, grocery, home, clothing, vacation, gifts, entertainment, etc…We then spend out of those envelopes all month long. Every month, I spend every dime of my grocery budget. But, some months, we don’t have any birthdays, so I don’t spend any of that money and it stockpiles, until I totally spend it all at Christmastime. 🙂 You don’t have to keep the receipts for bookkeeping or tracking. It’s so easy!
Because we only use cash, at the end of the month, we haven’t gone over budget. (It’s physically impossible when you don’t carry a credit card!) So, we’re able to put money into savings, to give, pay bills, or pay off debt. You cannot imagine how freeing it is to be completely debt-free, to have a savings cushion, be financially sound and be able to help the people around you. It is the best feeling in the world!
The first step to going on a budget is understanding how much money you are bringing in, your expenses, and your debt. Use this free printable to start your journey to build your family budget, pay off your debt, and save for your dreams!
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The Budget Worksheet has percentages listed for each category. These are averages and you definitely want to be somewhere within these percentages. The next printable I will put out is how to figure out how to assemble your cash envelope system. If you don’t want to miss out, please subscribe to our weekly recap email.
Like to learn more about budgeting? Check out these posts!
Blessings on your journey to financial freedom!
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