How To Make A Budget Binder DIY Style

How To Make A Budget Binder DIY Style

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I’ve been using a DIY budget binder for almost 7 years now.

And, here’s the deal:

Once I learned how to make a budget binder, my finances improved almost immediately (and are still kicking ass today).

It gets better:

Click to learn everything you need to know to make a budget binder! Here's how to make a budget binder the simple and affordable way. If you want to stop stressing about money, you need to learn how to make a budget binder. This budget binder tutorial will help you make a budget binder so you can master your money and stop living paycheck to paycheck. Don't miss this overview of how to make a budget binder. #budgetbinder #howtomakeabudgetbinder #budgetbinderprintables #budgetbinderdiy

Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.  Please see our privacy policy here.

To make a budget binder DIY style is hella simple and equally affordable!

Today, I’ll walk you through:

  • what you’ll need to make a budget binder
  • how to set up your DIY budget binder
  • a basic overview of how to use your budget binder for financial success

Alrighty!  Let’s get into it.

Free Printables!

Sign up below for our free resource library to access tons of budgeting goodies!

Free Printables!

Sign up for our resource library to access tons of free goodies!

What You’ll Need To Make A Budget Binder

Making a budget binder DIY style is super simple.

Better yet?

DIY budget binders are also SUPER affordable!

Here’s what you’ll need to make your budget binder:

 

Once you have all your stuff (I love using Amazon Prime!) you can get started on creating your DIY budget binder.

How To Make A Budget Binder DIY Style

To quickly and easily set up you DIY budget binder, follow these steps:

1. Print your budget binder printables (get every budget printable needed here)

2.  3-hole punch your printables

3.  Place your yearly budgeting printables at the beginning of your binder (before the first divider)

4.  Insert your monthly budgeting printables, separated by 12 dividers; one for each month

It’s that simple!

How To Use A Budget Binder For Financial Success

Setting up your budget binder is simple.

The hard part?

Actually using your budget binder for financial success.

Here’s a quick overview of how to use a budget binder so you can finally stop stressing about money.

Income + Expenses

Use an income and expense organizing printable to write down your monthly income and expenses.  Then, evaluate if you’re living within or above your means by doing some simple math (total expenses – total income).  This information is critical to setting up a successful budget.

Create A Budget

Use the Create-A-Budget template to outline your budget for the year.  Decide how much money you can afford to put towards bills, miscellaneous spending, debt repayment, savings, and more.  Use a weekly or bi-weekly budget tracker to make sure you stick to your budget.

Financial, Debt Repayment, & Savings Goals

Use a financial goal planning printables to create long-term financial goals and plan out your action steps for success.  Do the same thing for your debt repayment and savings goals.  Then each month, track your progress with guided printables.

Bill Pay Calendar/Checklist

Use a bill pay calendar and/or checklist to list your monthly bills and check them off once they’re paid.

Account Ledger

Track your bill-pay account by monitoring how much money is coming in and going out.  Your ledger will help you stay on top of your account balance so you don’t spend money that you do not have.  Also great for noticing funky account activity and/or planning for unexpected expenses.

Daily Expense Tracker

Track your daily spending on miscellaneous items so you can recognize poor spending habits and stop them.

Take Action:

If you want to stop stressing about money, you gotta set up your DIY Budget Binder!

As you can see, it’s super simple and hella affordable.

So, don’t wait!

Click here to get your printables and never stress about money again.

Do you use a budget binder?  How do you set up it up?  Comment below!

Happy Budgeting!

Michelle

Click to learn everything you need to know to make a budget binder! Here's how to make a budget binder the simple and affordable way. If you want to stop stressing about money, you need to learn how to make a budget binder. This budget binder tutorial will help you make a budget binder so you can master your money and stop living paycheck to paycheck. Don't miss this overview of how to make a budget binder. #budgetbinder #howtomakeabudgetbinder #budgetbinderprintables #budgetbinderdiy

RELATED READS

7 Reasons To Say ‘No’ to Credit Cards

All Our Money Resources,All Free.Printables, planners, and eCourses to create your life of financial freedom!All Our Money Resources, All Free.Printables, planners, and eCourses to create your life of financial freedom!Out of cash? Use a credit card. Stuck in an...

read more

How To Make A Budget Binder DIY Style

I've been using a DIY budget binder for almost 7 years now. And, here's the deal: Once I learned how to make a budget binder, my finances improved almost immediately (and are still kicking ass today). It gets better:Some of the...

read more

An Overview Of The Budget Boss Planner Toolkit

Do you struggle to organize your finances? Is living paycheck to paycheck getting hella old? I feel you. So, here's the deal:Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase...

read more

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Cash Envelope System: Get Started With The Ultimate Guide

Cash Envelope System: Get Started With The Ultimate Guide

All Our Money Resources,

All Free.

Printables, planners, and eCourses to create your life of financial freedom!

All Our Money Resources, All Free.

Printables, planners, and eCourses to create your life of financial freedom!

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Here’s a crazy stat:

Two-thirds of Americans don’t have a budget.

That means that 218 million people are spending their money will-nilly with no game plan.

Two hundred and eighteen million people who are not financially successful.

Because, let’s face it:

This is how to make a cash envelope system actually work. Click to read this ultimate guide to the cash envelope system. If you want to stop poor spending habits, pay off debt, and save money, check out the cash envelope system. Get started with the cash envelope system today after reading this post! #cashenvelopesystem #cashenvelope #budget #budgeting #budgetingmethods

Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Without a budget, you are highly unlikely to be able to afford your lifestyle, pay down debt, or save money.

Are you one of these people?

It’s ok if you are.  I was too.

It gets better, though:

Creating a budget (or a plan) for your money is hella easy.

What isn’t always easy is sticking to your budget.

However, when you use a budgeting method, such as the 50/30/20 budget method, you can significantly increase your chances of sticking to a budget.

And, when you stick to a budget, you’ll be able to:

  • afford your lifestyle
  • pay down debt (and stay out of debt)
  • save more money
  • free up money for personal use

and more.

That sounds pretty sweet, right?

I know.  It totally does.

So, let’s get started.

Free Budgeting Printables!

Sign up for our resource library to access tons of free budgeting printables!

Free Budgeting Printables

Sign up for our resource library to access tons of free budgeting printables!

Why You Definitely Need A Budget 

Learning how to budget is super crucial if you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck and reach your financial goals.

But, budgeting can be the worst, so people tend to avoid it.  (Two-thirds of Americans to be exact!)

Here’s the deal, though:

Not budgeting is a huge, huge mistake.

Because, if there is one thing that you should keep organized in your life, it is your money.

So, why do so many people avoid budgeting their hard-earned cash?

Two reasons:

  • budgeting is can be time-consuming
  • budgeting is can be stressful

See, money is often the cause of stress, tension, and arguments between partners.  And, money controls most aspects of our lives, leaving us feeling like we often do not have enough.

So, why even bother with it all, right?

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

You 100% need a budget, regardless of how ‘little’ or ‘big’ your income is.

Because, here’s the deal:

Without a proper budget (and understanding of your finances), you will never, and I mean never, feel satisfied with your income and standard of living.

A budget is necessary if you want to:

  • afford your lifestyle
  • stop fighting about money
  • pay off debt (and stay out of debt)
  • save money

So, let’s dive in and see if a cash envelope system is right for you!

How To Set Up A Cash Envelope System

To set up a cash envelope system follow these steps:

  1. Determine Your Why Factor
  2. Collect Your Financial Information
  3. Calculate Your Income & Expenses
  4. Cut Costs (if necessary)
  5. Set Up Your Cash Envelope System
  6. Track Your Budget

And don’t miss these:

Super cute cash envelopes for sorting your money!

Who Is A Cash Envelope System Good For?

A cash envelope system of budgeting is awesome for people who have poor spending habits and who are unfamiliar with budgeting.

Wanna know why?

When you have and spend physical cash, you’re more likely to connect to the money flowing in and out of your hands.

I mean, it’s pretty damn easy to go a little crazy at Target when you’re swiping plastic, right?

But, with a cash envelope system, you can count the money you have, track the money you’ve spent, and become conscientious of your spending habits.

There are a few downsides to the cash envelope system, though.

Being that:

You’ve gotta use cash.  Meaning you have to go to the bank and get cash every time you are paid.

And, what about all those bills you pay online every month?  What’s the deal with those expenses when using a cash envelope system?

I hear ya.  Here’s the deal:

I highly suggest only using a cash envelope system for the ‘wants’ part of your budget.

Things like groceries, transportation costs, entertainment, personal spending, etc.

Yes, you will have to stop at your local ATM every time you get paid, but it’s worth it!

And, for your fixed expenses like rent, insurance, internet, etc, use a zero-based budget, budget by paycheck system, or an automated budgeting system.

Step 1:  Determine Your Why Factor

We’ve already established this:

Every single person needs a budget if they want to be financially successful.

But why.

This will be different for everybody, and you can determine your why factor by asking yourself these questions:

  1. What will budgeting help me do?
  2. How will budgeting make my life simpler?

For example:

You might want to start budgeting to stop living paycheck to paycheck, to pay off debt, or to save more money.

Knowing your why is essential because it creates meaning for your purpose.  Without it, you’d have no motivation to continue budgeting.

Because let’s be honest:

If you do not have a plan for your money, how are you going to afford your dream life?

Here’s a hint:

You won’t be able to.

So, once you establish the reason you want to start budgeting, I urge you to write it down!

Why?

Because writing it down makes it real and it reminds you of why you started in the first place (if/when budgeting gets tough).

Step 2:  Collect Your Financial Information

Want to know the best part about this step:

It’s hella simple and shouldn’t take you much time at all.

You’re simply going to gather up your financial information. (i.e., pay stubs and bills)

You’ll need:

  • a months worth of pay stubs (and your partners, if applicable)
  • all the bills you currently pay, their individual costs, and when they’re due
  • an average of monthly variable expenses

And that’s all folks!

Step 3:  Calculate Your Income + Expenses

The start of every budget begins by calculating your income and expenses.

It is a crucial step to creating a budget that works because:

If you’ve never budgeted before, you probably don’t have a firm understanding of your finances.

Therefore, you’re probably spending more than you can afford (or not spending your money efficiently).

So, to determine if you need to cut back on expenses before you start budgeting (for better budgeting success) calculate your income and expenses now.

Your Income:

Using the information you gathered during step two, calculate your total monthly income (after taxes) from all sources.

Once you know exactly how much money you earn each month, you can determine if you are living within or beyond your means.

For the purposes of this post, let’s pretend my total monthly income is $4,500 and I am paid weekly.

(Monthly Income Organizer & Financial Evaluation available in the Budget Boss Planner)

Your Expenses:

Next, you’ll want to calculate your total monthly expenses.

For the purposes of your cash envelope system, break your expenses into two categories:

1. Fixed Expenses

2. Variable Expenses (what you’ll be using cash for!)

If you aren’t sure what your monthly expenses are, begin tracking your spending in a financial planner to calculate an average at the end of the month.

(Monthly Expense Organizer available in the Budget Boss Planner)

For the purposes of this post, let’s pretend my fixed expenses total $2,250 and my variable expenses total $1,350.

Step 4:  Cut Costs (if necessary)

Once you’ve calculated your monthly income and expenses, you can quickly decipher if you’re living within or above your means.

To do this, simply subtract your total expenses from your total income.

If the number is a positive number:

You’re in the green and should be able to afford your lifestyle with ease each month and can easily move onto setting up your zero based budget.

If the number you calculated is a negative number:

You’re in the red and cannot afford your current lifestyle, meaning you will have to decrease your expenses if you want to successfully start budgeting.

If you’re in the red and need to cut costs, use these tips and resources:

1.  A Budgeting Planner – Use budgeting printables, like the ones found in the Budget Boss Planner, to begin tracking your finances and your spending.  Then, begin decreasing your expenses by stopping poor spending habits and canceling unused subscriptions.  Get your budgeting planner here.

Pssst!  Wanna save 70% on the Budget Boss Planner?  Sign up here to save!

2.  BillBargain – A fantastic resource that will help you lower your monthly expenses.  BillBargain has successfully negotiated over 85% of the bills they receive for cell phone bills, Wi-Fi, cable, and more.  The best part?  BillBargain is 100% risk-free.  If they don’t successfully negotiate a lower price for your bills, you don’t owe them a dime.

Get started with BillBargain for free here!

2.  Trim – Referred to as a financial health service, Trim securely connects to your bank account(s) to analyze spending, subscriptions, and recurring bill pay.  Then, Trim will help you cancel unused subscriptions, negotiate lower bill prices, and more.  In the last month alone, they’ve helped their users save over 1 million dollars.

Sign-up for Trim for free here!

3.  The Ultimate Guide To Frugal Living – Learn over one hundred ways to save money every day (thousands/year!).

Get your free frugal living checklist by signing up for our resource library.

This is how to make a cash envelope system actually work. Click to read this ultimate guide to the cash envelope system. If you want to stop poor spending habits, pay off debt, and save money, check out the cash envelope system. Get started with the cash envelope system today after reading this post! #cashenvelopesystem #cashenvelope #budget #budgeting #budgetingmethods

Step 5:  Set Up Your Cash Envelope System

To get started:

Next, follow these steps:

1.  Add up your monthly income (after taxes)

2.  Figure out which expenses you plan to use cash for (such as groceries, transportation costs, clothing, entertainment, etc.) and budget your monthly income accordingly

3.  Each time you are paid, visit the bank or ATM to withdraw your budgeted cash for the week or next two weeks

4.  Place budgeted cash into allocated cash envelopes for spending

For example:

My monthly take-home pay is $4,500 and I am paid weekly.  And, I have a $500 monthly budget for groceries.

So, each week, I will withdraw $125 ($500/4 weeks) to place into my ‘groceries’ cash envelope.

Here is the most important part though:

You MUST NOT take money from one envelope to make up the difference of overspending from another envelope.

For instance:

If you have $125 for groceries and the cashier rings you out at $128, you have to put something back.  Do not take $3 from your gas cash envelope.

Your cash envelope budget will not work if you don’t stick to this rule!

Step 6:  Tracking Your Budget

Most people forget this crucial part of budgeting and end up wondering why their budget failed a month after implementing it.

If you have a budget, then you need to track it.

Because, here’s the deal:

If you do not track your budget, you cannot make sure that you are sticking to your budget.  And, if you aren’t making sure that you’re sticking to your budget, your budget will fail.

You might be wondering:

How do you track your budget?

These are my recommendations:

1.  The Budget Boss Planner ($27 value)

A printable and digital budgeting planner designed to help you create & stick to a budget, pay off debt, save money, and more.  The Budget Boss Planner is un-dated so you only have to purchase once to use this planner forever.

To take a peek inside the Budget Boss Planner, click here.

HINT: When you sign up here to become a VIP, you can score the Budget Boss Planner for just $9 (instead of $27!) — You’ll be automatically redirected to a discounted purchase page.

2.  Honey Money ($50 value)

An online resource to track your budget.  Honey Money is the internet’s version of a printable financial planner.  Within your dashboard, you can create your budget, track your budget, create debt repayment and savings goals, and more.  If you aren’t a pen and paper kinda person, I highly recommend this budget tracking resource.  

Get started with Honey Money for free here.

Again, when you track your budget, you ensure that the system you put into place is working correctly.

Don’t let the time you spent creating a budget go to waste by avoiding this simple step!

Wrapping Up

A cash envelope system is a great way to open your eyes up to poor spending habits and get your spending under control.

You’ll be able to:

  • recognize spending habits
  • create spending rules and boundaries
  • stop wasting your hard-earned cash

So, take action:

Gather your financial information, implement your cash envelope system, and track your budget for success.

And, cheers to stressing less about money!

What budget system do you currently use?  Are you going to start a zero based budget?  Comment below!

Happy Budgeting!

Michelle

This is how to make a cash envelope system actually work. Click to read this ultimate guide to the cash envelope system. If you want to stop poor spending habits, pay off debt, and save money, check out the cash envelope system. Get started with the cash envelope system today after reading this post! #cashenvelopesystem #cashenvelope #budget #budgeting #budgetingmethods

RELATED READS

7 Reasons To Say ‘No’ to Credit Cards

All Our Money Resources,All Free.Printables, planners, and eCourses to create your life of financial freedom!All Our Money Resources, All Free.Printables, planners, and eCourses to create your life of financial freedom!Out of cash? Use a credit card. Stuck in an...

read more

How To Make A Budget Binder DIY Style

I've been using a DIY budget binder for almost 7 years now. And, here's the deal: Once I learned how to make a budget binder, my finances improved almost immediately (and are still kicking ass today). It gets better:Some of the...

read more

An Overview Of The Budget Boss Planner Toolkit

Do you struggle to organize your finances? Is living paycheck to paycheck getting hella old? I feel you. So, here's the deal:Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase...

read more

JOIN THE WHO SAYS WHAT COMMUNITY!

HOME  |   CONTACT  |   LEGAL

Copyright 2016-2019 Who Says What

CREATED USING DIVI   |   POWERED BY TMDHOSTING

50/30/20 Budget Method: Everything You Need To Know To Get Started

50/30/20 Budget Method: Everything You Need To Know To Get Started

All Our Money Resources,

All Free.

Printables, planners, and eCourses to create your life of financial freedom!

All Our Money Resources, All Free.

Printables, planners, and eCourses to create your life of financial freedom!

  • 523
    Shares

Here’s a crazy stat:

Two-thirds of Americans don’t have a budget.

That means that 218 million people are spending their money will-nilly with no game plan.

Two hundred and eighteen million people who are not financially successful.

Because, let’s face it:

Click to read about the 50/30/20 budget method! The basis of the 50/30/20 budget is simple; assign 150% of your income to your needs, 30% to your wants, and 20% to savings and debt repayment. Don't miss this ultimate guide to the 50/30/20 budget if you want to take control of your finances and prepare for a rich financial future. Plus, get your 50/30/20 budget worksheet, template, and printables. #budget #503020budget #budgetingmethods

Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Without a budget, you are highly unlikely to be able to afford your lifestyle, pay down debt, or save money.

Are you one of these people?

It’s ok if you are.  I was too.

It gets better, though:

Creating a budget (or a plan) for your money is hella easy.

What isn’t always easy is sticking to your budget.

However, when you use a budgeting method, such as the 50/30/20 budget method, you can significantly increase your chances of sticking to a budget.

And, when you stick to a budget, you’ll be able to:

  • afford your lifestyle
  • pay down debt (and stay out of debt)
  • save more money
  • free up money for personal use

and more.

That sounds pretty sweet, right?

I know.  It totally does.

So, let’s get started.

50/30/20 budget printable set

Sign up for our free resource library to access your 50/30/20 Budget printable set!

50/30/20 Budget Printable Set

Sign up for our free resource library to access your 50/30/20 Budgeting printable set!

Why You Definitely Need A Budget 

Learning how to budget is super crucial if you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck and reach your financial goals.

But, budgeting can be the worst, so people tend to avoid it.  (Two-thirds of Americans to be exact!)

Here’s the deal, though:

Not budgeting is a huge, huge mistake.

Because, if there is one thing that you should keep organized in your life, it is your money.

So, why do so many people avoid budgeting their hard-earned cash?

Two reasons:

  • budgeting is can be time-consuming
  • budgeting is can be stressful

See, money is often the cause of stress, tension, and arguments between partners.  And, money controls most aspects of our lives, leaving us feeling like we often do not have enough.

So, why even bother with it all, right?

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

You 100% need a budget, regardless of how ‘little’ or ‘big’ your income is.

Because, here’s the deal:

Without a proper budget (and understanding of your finances), you will never, and I mean never, feel satisfied with your income and standard of living.

A budget is necessary if you want to:

  • afford your lifestyle
  • stop fighting about money
  • pay off debt (and stay out of debt)
  • save money

So, let’s dive in and see if a 50/30/20 budget is right for you!

How To Set Up A 50/30/20 Budget

To set up a 50/30/20 budget follow these steps:

  1. Determine Your Why Factor
  2. Collect Your Financial Information
  3. Calculate Your Income & Expenses
  4. Cut Costs (if necessary)
  5. Set Up Your 50/30/20 Budget
  6. Track Your Budget

And don’t miss this:

Your free 50/30/20 budget starter bundle!

Who Is A 50/30/20 Budget Good For?

I’m gonna be honest:

A 50/30/20 budget is not for everybody.  In fact, I’d go as far as to say that this budget is not for most people.

Why’s that?

With a 50/30/20 budget, you will be spending 50% of your budget on needs, 30% of your budget on wants, and 20% of your budget on savings/debt repayment.

The first time I heard about a 50/30/20 budget, I thought:

“Wouldn’t that be nice!”

My point being that, a 50/30/20 budget is really restrictive and doesn’t work well for people who have a tight income to expense ratio.

A 50/30/20 budget IS good for you, though, if you have a lot of freedom in your budget and are looking for a more structured approach to your finances.

Step 1:  Determine Your Why Factor

We’ve already established this:

Every single person needs a budget if they want to be financially successful.

But why.

This will be different for everybody, and you can determine your why factor by asking yourself these questions:

  1. What will budgeting help me do?
  2. How will budgeting make my life simpler?

For example:

You might want to start budgeting to stop living paycheck to paycheck, to pay off debt, or to save more money.

Knowing your why is essential because it creates meaning for your purpose.  Without it, you’d have no motivation to continue budgeting.

Because let’s be honest:

If you do not have a plan for your money, how are you going to afford your dream life?

Here’s a hint:

You won’t be able to.

So, once you establish the reason you want to start budgeting, I urge you to write it down!

Why?

Because writing it down makes it real and it reminds you of why you started in the first place (if/when budgeting gets tough).

Step 2:  Collect Your Financial Information

Want to know the best part about this step:

It’s hella simple and shouldn’t take you much time at all.

You’re simply going to gather up your financial information. (i.e., pay stubs and bills)

You’ll need:

  • a months worth of pay stubs (and your partners, if applicable)
  • all the bills you currently pay, their individual costs, and when they’re due
  • bank account information

And that’s all folks!

Step 3:  Calculate Your Income + Expenses

The start of every budget begins by calculating your income and expenses.

It is a crucial step to creating a budget that works because:

If you’ve never budgeted before, you probably don’t have a firm understanding of your finances.

Therefore, you’re probably spending more than you can afford (or not spending your money efficiently).

So, to determine if you need to cut back on expenses before you start budgeting (for better budgeting success) calculate your income and expenses now.

Your Income:

Using the information you gathered during step two, calculate your total monthly income (after taxes) from all sources.

Once you know exactly how much money you earn each month, you can determine if you are living within or beyond your means.

For the purposes of this post, let’s pretend your total monthly income is $4,500.

(Monthly Income Organizer & Financial Evaluation available in the Budget Boss Planner)

Your Expenses:

Next, you’ll want to calculate your total monthly expenses.

For the purposes of the 50/30/20 budget, break your expenses down into two categories:

1. Needs

2. Wants

If you aren’t sure what your monthly expenses are, begin tracking your spending in a financial planner to calculate an average at the end of the month.

For the purposes of this post, let’s pretend our needs total $2,250 and our wants total $1,350.

Step 4:  Cut Costs (if necessary)

Once you’ve calculated your monthly income and expenses, you can quickly decipher if you’re living within or above your means.

To do this, simply subtract your total expenses from your total income.

If the number is a positive number:

You’re in the green and should be able to afford your lifestyle with ease each month and can easily move onto setting up your zero based budget.

If the number you calculated is a negative number:

You’re in the red and cannot afford your current lifestyle, meaning you will have to decrease your expenses if you want to successfully start budgeting.

If you’re in the red and need to cut costs, use these tips and resources:

  • A Budgeting Planner – Use budgeting printables, like the ones found in the Budget Boss Planner, to begin tracking your finances and your spending.  Then, begin decreasing your expenses by stopping poor spending habits and canceling unused subscriptions.  Get your budgeting planner here.

Pssst!  Wanna save 70% on the Budget Boss Planner?  Sign up here to save!

  • BillBargain – A fantastic resource that will help you lower your monthly expenses.  BillBargain has successfully negotiated over 85% of the bills they receive for cell phone bills, Wi-Fi, cable, and more.  The best part?  BillBargain is 100% risk-free.  If they don’t successfully negotiate a lower price for your bills, you don’t owe them a dime. Get started for free here!
  • Trim – Referred to as a financial health service, Trim securely connects to your bank account(s) to analyze spending, subscriptions, and recurring bill pay.  Then, Trim will help you cancel unused subscriptions, negotiate lower bill prices, and more.  In the last month alone, they’ve helped their users save over 1 million dollars.  Sign-up for free here!
  • The Ultimate Guide To Frugal Living – Learn over one hundred ways to save money every day (thousands/year!). Get your free frugal living checklist by signing up for our resource library.
Click to read about the 50/30/20 budget method! The basis of the 50/30/20 budget is simple; assign 150% of your income to your needs, 30% to your wants, and 20% to savings and debt repayment. Don't miss this ultimate guide to the 50/30/20 budget if you want to take control of your finances and prepare for a rich financial future. Plus, get your 50/30/20 budget worksheet, template, and printables. #budget #503020budget #budgetingmethods

Step 5:  Create Your 50/30/20 Budget

To get started:

Next, follow these steps:

1.  Add up your monthly income (after taxes)

2.  Multiply your total monthly income by 0.5.  This is how much money you should be spending on your needs.  (Refer to the list your made earlier.  If you’ve exceeded 50%, you need to cut costs to make this budget work.)

3.  Multiply your total monthly income by 0.3.  This is how much money you can spend on your wants.  (Refer to your list.  Does this number match up?)

4.  Multiply your total monthly income by 0.2.  This is how much money you have to put towards debt repayment and/or savings.

As you can see, the 50/30/20 budget is great for becoming more intentional with how you spend your money.

If your percentages aren’t evening out correctly, try decreasing your expenses, making more money, or trying a different budgeting method.

To get started with your 50/30/20 budget, download your free printable bundle here.

Step 6:  Tracking Your Budget

Most people forget this crucial part of budgeting and end up wondering why their budget failed a month after implementing it.

If you have a budget, then you need to track it.

Because, here’s the deal:

If you do not track your budget, you cannot make sure that you are sticking to your budget.  And, if you aren’t making sure that you’re sticking to your budget, your budget will fail.

You might be wondering:

How do you track your budget?

These are my recommendations:

1.  The Budget Boss Planner ($27 value)

A printable and digital budgeting planner designed to help you create & stick to a budget, pay off debt, save money, and more.  The Budget Boss Planner is un-dated so you only have to purchase once to use this planner forever.

To take a peek inside the Budget Boss Planner, click here.

HINT: When you sign up here to become a VIP and download your 50/30/20 budget printables, you can score the Budget Boss Planner for just $9 (instead of $27!) — You’ll be automatically redirected to a discounted purchase page.

2.  Honey Money ($50 value)

An online resource to track your budget.  Honey Money is the internet’s version of a printable financial planner.  Within your dashboard, you can create your budget, track your budget, create debt repayment and savings goals, and more.  If you aren’t a pen and paper kinda person, I highly recommend this budget tracking resource.  

Get started with Honey Money for free here.

Again, when you track your budget, you ensure that the system you put into place is working correctly.

Don’t let the time you spent creating a budget go to waste by avoiding this simple step!

Wrapping Up

A 50/30/20 budget is the perfect way to spend your money mindfully.

You’ll be able to:

  • afford your bills and necessities with ease
  • have extra money for your wants (who doesn’t love that!?)
  • easily pay off debt and/or save money

So, take action:

Gather your financial information, implement your 50/30/20 budget, and track your budget for success.

Don’t forget your free 50/30/20 buget printables bundle!

And, cheers to stressing less about money!

What budget system do you currently use?  Are you going to start a zero based budget?  Comment below!

Happy Budgeting!

Michelle

Click to read about the 50/30/20 budget method! The basis of the 50/30/20 budget is simple; assign 150% of your income to your needs, 30% to your wants, and 20% to savings and debt repayment. Don't miss this ultimate guide to the 50/30/20 budget if you want to take control of your finances and prepare for a rich financial future. Plus, get your 50/30/20 budget worksheet, template, and printables. #budget #503020budget #budgetingmethods

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An Overview Of The Budget Boss Planner Toolkit

Do you struggle to organize your finances? Is living paycheck to paycheck getting hella old? I feel you. So, here's the deal:Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase...

read more

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Zero-Based Budget: Everything You Need To Know To Get Started

Zero-Based Budget: Everything You Need To Know To Get Started

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Here’s a crazy stat:

Two-thirds of Americans don’t have a budget.

That means that 218 million people are spending their money will-nilly with no game plan.

Two hundred and eighteen million people who are not financially successful.

Because, let’s face it:

Budgeting is essential to your financial success. A zero based budget is a great way to take control of your finance and life. Click to learn how to make a zero based budget. And, don't forget your zero based budget printable! If you want to know what is a zero based budget and how it can help you pay off debt, save money, and more, don't miss this post. Get started today with your zero based budget so you can have a better financial future. #zerobasedbudget #budgetingmethods #budgeting

Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Without a budget, you are highly unlikely to be able to afford your lifestyle, pay down debt, or save money.

Are you one of these people?

It’s ok if you are.  I was too.

And it gets better:

Creating a budget (or a plan) for your money is hella easy.

What isn’t always easy is sticking to your budget.

However, when you use a budgeting method, such as the zero based budget method, you can significantly increase your chances of sticking to a budget.

And, when you stick to a budget, you’ll be able to:

  • afford your lifestyle
  • pay down debt (and stay out of debt)
  • save more money
  • free up money for personal use

and more.

That sounds pretty sweet, right?

I know.  It totally does.

So, let’s get started.

zero based budget printable set

Sign up for our free resource library to access your Zero Based Budgeting printable set!

Zero Based Budget Printable Set

Sign up for our free resource library to access your Zero Based Budgeting printable set!

Why You Definitely Need A Budget 

Learning how to budget is super crucial if you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck and reach your financial goals.

But, budgeting can be the worst, so people tend to avoid it.  (Two-thirds of Americans to be exact!)

Here’s the deal, though:

Not budgeting is a huge, huge mistake.

Because, if there is one thing that you should keep organized in your life, it is your money.

So, why do so many people avoid budgeting their hard-earned cash?

Two reasons:

  • budgeting is can be time-consuming
  • budgeting is can be stressful

See, money is often the cause of stress, tension, and arguments between partners.  And, money controls most aspects of our lives, leaving us feeling like we often do not have enough.

So, why even bother with it all, right?

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

You 100% need a budget, regardless of how ‘little’ or ‘big’ your income is.

Because, here’s the deal:

Without a proper budget (and understanding of your finances), you will never, and I mean never, feel satisfied with your income and standard of living.

A budget is necessary if you want to:

  • afford your lifestyle
  • stop fighting about money
  • pay off debt (and stay out of debt)
  • save money

So, let’s set up your zero based budget so you can prepare for a kickass financial future.

How To Use A Zero Based Budget

To set up a zero based budget follow these steps:

  1. Determine Your Why Factor
  2. Collect Your Financial Information
  3. Calculate Your Income & Expenses
  4. Cut Costs (if necessary)
  5. Create Your Zero Based Budget
  6. Track Your Budget

And don’t miss this:

Your free zero based budgeting starter bundle!

Who Is A Zero Based Budget Good For?

Everybody can benefit from a zero based budget, especially if you really, really like to plan (like me!).

Why’s that?

With a zero based budget, you will be assigning every dollar you earn to a category, such as expenses, savings, or debt repayment.

Simply put, a zero based budget will:

  • establish a plan for every dollar you earn
  • make sure you’re living within your means
  • help you pay off debt and save money

The pros of a zero based budget include:

  • being able to easily eliminate poor spending habits by not allocating money to that category of spending
  • always having enough money allocated for bills and other necessities
  • quickly paying off debt by allocating more money to debt repayment efforts
  • easily saving money by allocating spare money to a high-interest savings account

 The cons of a zero based budget are:  None.

But really:

A zero based budget is simple, straightforward, and doesn’t restrict your lifestyle in any way.

Let’s dive into the deets.

Step 1:  Determine Your Why Factor

We’ve already established this:

Every single person needs a budget if they want to be financially successful.

But why.

This will be different for everybody, and you can determine your why factor by asking yourself these questions:

  1. What will budgeting help me do?
  2. How will budgeting make my life simpler?

For example:

You might want to start budgeting to stop living paycheck to paycheck, to pay off debt, or to save more money.

Knowing your why is essential because it creates meaning for your purpose.  Without it, you’d have no motivation to continue budgeting.

Because let’s be honest:

If you do not have a plan for your money, how are you going to afford your dream life?

Here’s a hint:

You won’t be able to.

So, once you establish the reason you want to start budgeting, I urge you to write it down!

Why?

Because writing it down makes it real and it reminds you of why you started in the first place (if/when budgeting gets tough).

Recommended:  Need a spot to write down your motivation for budgeting?  I highly recommend investing in a budgeting planner, like the Budget Boss Planner.  Keeping all your financial information in one tidy spot makes budgeting a whooole lot easier!

Step 2:  Collect Your Financial Information

Want to know the best part about this step:

It’s hella simple and shouldn’t take you much time at all.

You’re simply going to gather up your financial information. (i.e., pay stubs and bills)

You’ll need:

  • a months worth of pay stubs (and your partners, if applicable)
  • all the bills you currently pay, their individual costs, and when they’re due
  • your personal spending habits

This is crazy, but:

Most people don’t actually know how much money they make or how much money they spend.

And, when you don’t know this information, it is impossible to budget.

So, to avoid playing guessing games, take the time to gather your financial information before you try to create a budget.

Helpful Hint:  If you are unsure of your exact income and expenses, track your finances in a budgeting planner to find out!

Step 3:  Calculate Your Income + Expenses

Before you can assign your income to categories (i.e., create a zero based budget), you need to establish your average monthly income and expenses.

Here’s why:

If you’ve never budgeted before, you probably don’t have a firm understanding of your finances.

Therefore, you’re probably spending more than you can afford (or not spending your money efficiently).

So, to determine if you need to cut back on expenses before you start budgeting (for better budgeting success) calculate your income and expenses now.

(Knowing your exact monthly income and expenses is also critical for planning out a zero based budget.)

Your Income:

Using the information you gathered during step two, calculate your total monthly income (after taxes) from all sources.

Once you know exactly how much money you earn each month, you can determine if you are living within or beyond your means.

For the purposes of this post, let’s pretend your total monthly income is $4,500.

(Monthly Income Organizer & Financial Evaluation available in the Budget Boss Planner)

Your Expenses:

Next, you’ll want to calculate your total monthly expenses.

For the purposes of most budgets, break your expenses down into two categories:

1. Fixed Expenses

2. Variable Expenses

Fixed expenses are bills that you are required to pay monthly, such as rent/mortgage, utilities, cell phone, credit cards, insurance, etc.

Variable expenses are those that vary in cost each month and could be decreased or eliminated if needed.  These expenses include things like groceries, transportation, entertainment, and more.

If you aren’t sure what your monthly variable expenses are, begin tracking your spending in a financial planner to calculate an average at the end of the month.

For the purposes of this post, let’s pretend our total fixed expenses equal $2970 and our total variable expenses equal $730.

(Monthly Income Organizer & Financial Evaluation available in the Budget Boss Planner)

Step 4:  Cut Costs (if necessary)

Once you’ve calculated your monthly income and expenses, you can quickly decipher if you’re living within or above your means.

To do this, simply subtract your total expenses from your total income.

If the number is a positive number:

You’re in the green and should be able to afford your lifestyle with ease each month and can easily move onto setting up your zero based budget.

If the number you calculated is a negative number:

You’re in the red and cannot afford your current lifestyle, meaning you will have to decrease your expenses if you want to successfully start budgeting.

If you are in the red and need to cut costs, these are the best resources:

1.  Use BillBargain

This is a fantastic resource that will help you lower your monthly expenses.  BillBargain has successfully negotiated over 85% of the bills they receive for cell phone bills, Wi-Fi, cable, and more.  The best part?  BillBargain is 100% risk-free.  If they don’t successfully negotiate a lower price for your bills, you don’t owe them a dime.

Get started with BillBargain for free here!

2.  Pay Off Your Debt

Credit card debt will suck you dry every month if you don’t work hard now to pay off what you owe.  I highly recommend consolidating your credit card debt into a low-interest personal loan to save tons of money and pay off your debt in half the time. (Doing this helped me pay off $15,000 in debt in only 12 months!)

3.  Sign Up For Trim

Referred to as a financial health service, Trim securely connects to your bank account(s) to analyze spending, subscriptions, and recurring bill pay.  Then, Trim will help you cancel unused subscriptions, negotiate lower bill prices, and more.  In the last month alone, they’ve helped their users save over $1,000,000!!

Sign-up for Trim for free here!

101 Ways To Save Money:  Read our ultimate guide to frugal living to discover 101 ways to save thousands of dollars a year!

Budgeting is essential to your financial success. A zero based budget is a great way to take control of your finance and life. Click to learn how to make a zero based budget. And, don't forget your zero based budget printable! If you want to know what is a zero based budget and how it can help you pay off debt, save money, and more, don't miss this post. Get started today with your zero based budget so you can have a better financial future. #zerobasedbudget #budgetingmethods #budgeting

Step 5:  Create Your Zero Based Budget

To get started:

Next, follow these steps:

1.  Add up your monthly income (after taxes): $4,500

2.  Total your monthly fixed expenses: $2,970

3.  Total your monthly variable expenses: $730

4.  Subtract your total monthly expenses from your total monthly income to see how much money you have left to budget:  $4500 – $3700 = $800

5.  Assign the rest of the money ($800) to debt repayment, savings, retirement, vacation fund, and more.

6.  Subtract steps 2-4 from step 1 to get ZERO.

The goal is to reach zero at the end of your budget planning and calculations, meaning that every dollar you earn has a job each month.

This is great because you’ll be able to easily budget for your lifestyle while also affording to pay off debt and save money.

And, the best part:

Your zero based budget can change every month to align with your current financial goals.

Remember:  If your budget doesn’t balance to zero and instead equals a negative number, you have to cut costs.

To get started with your zero based budget, download your free printable bundle here.

Step 6:  Tracking Your Budget

Most people forget this crucial part of budgeting and end up wondering why their budget failed a month after implementing it.

If you have a budget, then you need to track it.

Because, here’s the deal:

If you do not track your budget, you cannot make sure that you are sticking to your budget.  And, if you aren’t making sure that you’re sticking to your budget, your budget will fail.

You might be wondering:

How do you track your budget?

Here are the best budget tracking resources:

1.  The Budget Boss Planner ($27 value)

A printable and digital budgeting planner designed to help you create & stick to a budget, pay off debt, save money, and more.  The Budget Boss Planner is un-dated so you only have to purchase once to use this planner forever.

To take a peek inside the Budget Boss Planner, click here.

HINT: When you sign up here to become a VIP and download your zero based budget printables, you can score the Budget Boss Planner for just $9 (instead of $27!) — You’ll be automatically redirected to a discounted purchase page.

2.  Honey Money ($50 value)

An online resource to track your budget.  Honey Money is the internet’s version of a printable financial planner.  Within your dashboard, you can create your budget, track your budget, create debt repayment and savings goals, and more.  If you aren’t a pen and paper kinda person, I highly recommend this budget tracking resource.  

Get started with Honey Money for free here.

Again, when you track your budget, you ensure that the system you put into place is working correctly.

Don’t let the time you spent creating a budget go to waste by avoiding this simple step!

Wrapping Up

A zero based budget is the ultimate way to take control of your money (and your life).

In fact:

A zero based budget is the exact budgeting method we used to pay off over $15,000 in debt in under a year.

I know.  These are high claims for a simple budgeting method.

But, it’s true.

And, I want the same things for you.

So, take action:

Gather your financial information, implement your zero based budget, and track your budget for success.

Don’t forget your free budget by paycheck bundle!

And, cheers to stressing less about money!

What budget system do you currently use?  Are you going to start a zero based budget?  Comment below!

Happy Budgeting!

Michelle

Budgeting is essential to your financial success. A zero based budget is a great way to take control of your finance and life. Click to learn how to make a zero based budget. And, don't forget your zero based budget printable! If you want to know what is a zero based budget and how it can help you pay off debt, save money, and more, don't miss this post. Get started today with your zero based budget so you can have a better financial future. #zerobasedbudget #budgetingmethods #budgeting

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All Our Money Resources,All Free.Printables, planners, and eCourses to create your life of financial freedom!All Our Money Resources, All Free.Printables, planners, and eCourses to create your life of financial freedom!Out of cash? Use a credit card. Stuck in an...

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An Overview Of The Budget Boss Planner Toolkit

Do you struggle to organize your finances? Is living paycheck to paycheck getting hella old? I feel you. So, here's the deal:Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase...

read more

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14 Easy Ways To Decrease Expenses From Your Budget (Without Sacrificing Your Quality Of Life!)

14 Easy Ways To Decrease Expenses From Your Budget (Without Sacrificing Your Quality Of Life!)

All Our Money Resources,

All Free.

Printables, planners, and eCourses to create your life of financial freedom!

All Our Money Resources, All Free.

Printables, planners, and eCourses to create your life of financial freedom!

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Is money tight?

I’ve been there! (I think we all have!)

It is absolutely no fun being short for bills or worrying about how you’ll afford dinner.

It gets better, though:

If money is tight then you need these 13 simple ways to cut expenses. Click to explore all the simple ways to cut expenses from your budget. These frugal living tips will significantly cut your expenses, improving your financial wellbeing. For example, I switched phone carriers and saved over $1,000 a year! For more ideas to cut expenses, don't miss this post. Saving money is simple with these cut expenses articles. #cutexpenses #savingmoney #frugalliving #budget

Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

It is simple to decrease expenses from your budget and save loads of money.

I’ve got 13 ways you can decrease your expenses (without sacrificing your quality of life) so you can stop stressing about money.

Let’s dive in!

Free printables?!  Heck, Yeah!

Join our resource library and get instant access to tons of free printables to help you become financially successful!

free printables?!  Heck, yeah!

Join our resource library and get instant access to tons of free printables to help you become financially successful!

1.  Create A Budget

The first thing you should do to decrease expenses from your budget is to actually create a budget.

Because here’s the deal:

If you don’t have a budget, you cannot know exactly how much money is coming and going each month.

And, until you have that information handy, it will be very hard to cut expenses.

So, take action:

Read this post about how to start budgeting.

Then, start budgeting! (Tips 2-4 will be much easier after.)

Don’t forget to track your budget to ensure success!

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2.  Get Rid Of Variable Expenses

Once you have a budget in place, you should have an understanding of how much you spend on variable expenses every month.

Things like food, gas, trips to Target, etc.

(If not, track your spending in a budget planner to get an accurate number to work with!)

Variable expenses are the easiest things to cut from your budget or decrease in cost.

Get started by:

Listing out all of your variable expenses and their costs.

Next, go through the list and cross off any expenses that you do not need.

Finally, research ways to decrease any variable expenses that you cannot get rid of, like food and transportation costs. (More on that soon!)

(Monthly Expense Organizer found in our Budget Boss Planner)

3.  Find Lower Costs For Fixed Expenses

To lower your fixed expenses, you’re going to do the same thing you did for your variable expense.

Firstly, list out your fixed expenses and their costs.

Now, since you can’t really get rid of a fixed expense (quickly anyway) your going to try to reduce the expense by as much as possible.

For example:

Your phone bill.

It used to cost us $110/month for our two cell phones with T-Mobile.

Then, we switched to Mint Mobile and saved $70/month.

So, take action:

Analyze your list of fixed expenses and do whatever you can to decrease (or get rid of) each one.

You have the potential to save thousands of dollars every year by doing this simple thing!

4.  Track Your Spending (And Then Slash It)

Do you know how much money you spend each month on coffee?  Trips to Target?  Random late night shopping sprees?

It’s cool.  Neither did I.

It wasn’t until I started tracking my spending in a budget planner that I realized this:

It is insane how much money I was spending without even realizing it.

And, you probably are, too.

It’s a simple fix though:

Start tracking your spending in a budget planner and then stop your bad spending habits.

By doing this, I cut my personal spending expenses by $250/month! (And you can too!)

5.  Utilize Expense Cutting Services

Services like BillBargain and Trim can help you drastically decrease your expenses – with little to no effort.

Here’s the low down on both of these killer resources:

BillBargain:

Simply send your bills to BillBargain and they’ll negotiate lower prices for you.

BillBargain has successfully negotiated over 85% of the bills they have received and specialize in decrease your:

  • WiFi bills
  • Internet bills
  • Cable bills
  • Satellite TV bills
  • Home Alarm System bills

To cut your expenses, get started risk-free with BillBargain here.

Trim:

Connect your accounts to Trim and they’ll start analyzing your spending for recurring subscriptions and bill payments.

Then, they’ll cancel unused subscriptions and negotiate lower bill prices for you.

It doesn’t get much easier than that!

To decrease expenses with Trim, click here.

6.  Earn Rewards For Every Day Spending

Taking advantage of cash back apps and reward credit cards can help you decrease expenses on stuff you have to buy.

For example, if you use Ebates, you can earn up to 10% cash back on everyday purchases – essentially saving you money.

These are my favorite cash-back apps:

Ebates:

Saving money with Ebates is super easy!

Before you shop, simply:

  • Open the Ebates App or login via Ebates.com (or connect your debit card to Ebates to skip this step)
  • Find the store you want to shop from and shop as usual
  • Earn as much as 10% cash back for your purchase

You can turn in your cash for PayPal payments or a check.

Get $10 for free by signing up for Ebates today!

Ibotta:

To save money with Ibotta:

  • Download the app
  • Add eligible offers from your favorite retailers (like Target, Uber, Olive Garden, and more) to “My Offers”
  • Shop as usual online or in store
  • Snap a pic of your receipt to get cash back!

 

You can turn in your cash for PayPal payments, gift cards, or Venmo payments!

Sign up today to start saving and earn your free $10 welcome bonus!

Dosh:

The Dosh app is my favorite way to earn cash back because there’s no work involved.

All you have to do is download the Dosh App and connect your debit or credit card.

Then, shop as usual and earn cash back instantly.

You can earn as much as 15% cash back on normal purchases by swiping the same card you always do.

Here’s the best part:

Dosh will give you $5 for free just by signing up and linking a card & you’ll get $5 for every friend you refer!

#ilovefreemoney

7.  Get Out Of Debt

The faster you pay off your debt, the sooner you can significantly lower your expenses.

Between school loans, credit cards, car payments, and more, your debt payments can quickly reach the thousands.

To get rid of this huge monthly burden and possibly cut your expenses in half, make a debt repayment plan.

(Debt Repayment Goals & Roadmap + Debt Repayment Tracker found in our Budget Boss Planner)

Once your debts are written down and your repayment plan is clear, you can immediately get to work paying down your debts.

To eliminate debt as quickly as possible, I recommend:

The quicker you get rid of your debt, the better off you’ll be financially.

These are 13 expenses to cut if you want to stop being poor. If money is tight you can't miss these tips to cut expenses. With these cut expenses ideas, you can save over $20k a year. So, click to read how to cut expenses without sacrificing your quality of life. Don't worry, it is easy to cut expenses, especially after these tips. Don't forget your budget planner to help you analyze spending and cut expenses. Click to read how to cut expenses so you can stop being poor. #cutexpenses

8.  Start A No Spend Challenge

Wanna know the easiest way to cut expenses?

Stop spending money!

Stop spending money on:

  • clothes
  • shoes
  • purses
  • makeup
  • coffee
  • take out food
  • movies
  • concerts

You get it.

Instead, do free things like:

  • hiking
  • biking
  • going to the park
  • enjoying the clothes, shoes, purses, makeup, etc that you already have 😉
  • cooking at home

Start now:  I challenge you to not spend a dime for a whole month!

9.  Save Money On Food

We all need to eat food to survive.

So, unfortunately, this isn’t an expense that you can get rid of.

But, you can cut your food bill in half.

Here are my best tips:

Seriously, I cut my food bill in half with these tips!

10.  Switch Banks

You can relate, right:

You log into your online banking and F@%K!  You’re in the negatives.

You forget Netflix was scheduled to come out, and now your $7.99 bill turns into a $35 overdraft fee.

Not cool banks, not cool. (Deny the charge goddammit!!)

So, what’s my point?

change your money mindset

My point is: you can bank, free of fees, with Chime Bank!

That’s not even the best part about Chime, though.

See, with a Chime account, you’ll get:

 

  • Award-Winning Online Banking
  • An Automatic Savings Feature

(Read more about why I love Chime, here!)

I wish I’d know about Chime sooner but am grateful to cut my expenses with them now.

To grab your $50 free gift, sign up for Chime here.  (All you need is your full name and email address! So easy!)

11.  Do It Yourself

Don’t call the plumber for your leaky sink!  DO IT YOURSELF!

Doing things yourself around the house will save your bucketloads of money every year.

I know what you’re thinking:

“Mmmmm, but, I don’t know how to fix my sink…”

Ah, well, with one small investment, you can learn how to do it all!

Seriously, for $20 you can pick up The Complete Do It Yourself Manual and learn everything (and I mean everything) you’d ever need to know about your home.

From emergency repairs to plumbing to remodeling a basement, cut expenses by doing it yourself.

(You could literally build a house from the ground up with this bad boy)

12.  Buy Used

Cut your spending expenses in half by buying used products instead of new.

This goes for:

  • clothes/shoes
  • furniture
  • electronics
  • cars

For clothing and shoes, shop at your local thrift store.  (Especially for kids who need new wardrobes every season!)

Thrift stores are also great for used furniture, as well as Craigslist.

And, if you’re in the market for electronics, shop on Gazelle for certified pre-owned products for half the price.

13.  Downsize

The ultimate way to cut expenses from your life is to downsize.

This is going to take the biggest effort but has the largest payoff.

For instance:

Do you really need two cars?  Or could you save hundreds of dollars a month and get by with one?

And, is your home maybe bigger than you need?

I mean, you could cut your mortgage in half by downsizing or moving somewhere more affordable.

Downsizing would save you HUGE amounts of money, so if you’re desperate to cut expenses, don’t overlook this option just because it is a little hard. (We moved from MA to upstate NY because housing is a third of the cost!)

14.  Live Frugally

Adopting a frugal lifestyle can dramatically cut your expenses when times are tight.

Here’s the deal:

Saving money doesn’t have to mean being boring or spending no money at all.

Yup!  And, it gets better:

Frugal living is super simple.

When you use the tips in this post, you’ll be saving money on autopilot without even realizing it.

Skipped To The Bottom?

Skip to the bottom?  It’s cool, most of us do 😉

Here’s the recap:

1.  Create A Budget:  Create a budget so you know where you stand financially.

2.  Get Rid Of Variable Expenses:  Make a list of your variable expenses and get rid of as many as possible.  Reduce the ones you cannot get rid of.

3.  Find Lowers Costs For Fixed Expenses:  For your fixed expenses, research cheaper options.  For example, switch to Mint Mobile and save an average of $100/month on your phone bill.

4.  Track Your Spending (And Then Slash It):  Track your spending in a budget planner to see how much you actually spend at Target.  Then, stop your bad spending habits in their tracks.

5.  Utilize Expense Cutting Services:  Use BillBargain and Trim to decrease your expenses without any work.

6.  Earn Rewards For Every Day Spending:  On the stuff you have to buy, earn cash back for your purchases with Ebates, Ibotta, and Dosh.

7.  Get Out Of Debt:  Significantly cut expenses by getting rid of your debt.  I recommend consolidating your debt into a personal loan, using the debt snowball or debt avalanche methods, and tracking your debt repayment progress.

8.  Start A No Spend Challenge:  I challenge you to not spend for one whole month!

9.  Save Money On Food:  Save money on that dang stuff you gotta buy by making a shopping list, not buying name brand, using $5 meal plan, swiping coupons from Coupon Surfer and Coupons.com, and more.  (You gotta go back and read this one!)

10.  Switch Banks:  Switch to Chime Bank to stop paying unnecessary fees.  (And get paid two days earlier than your coworkers!)

11.  Do It Yourself:  Don’t hire people to repair your home; do it yourself!  This book will help tremendously.

12.  Buy Used:  Shop for second-hand clothing and used furniture at thrift stores and use Gazelle for used electronics. (Cars, too.  Never buy a new car!)

13.  Downsize:  Move into a smaller home, get rid of your second (or third) car, or move somewhere cheaper!

14.  Live Frugally:  The tips in this post will help.

There you have it!  14 ways to cut expenses from your life.

Good luck 🙂

Any ways to cut expenses that I missed??  Share with us below!

BEST,

michelle

These are 13 things to do to drastically cut expenses when money is tight. By cutting these expenses, you can save up to $20k/year! Through frugal living, you can cut expenses and start saving money fast. Don't miss these frugal living, cut expenses, and saving money tips. And, download your budget planner to start a budget (tip #1), analyze spending (tip #4), and pay down debt (tip #7) to drastically cut expenses when times are tough. #cutexpenses #frugalliving #savingmoney

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Budget By Paycheck: Everything You Need To Know To Get Started

Budget By Paycheck: Everything You Need To Know To Get Started

2019

BUDGET BOSS 

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2019

BUDGET BOSS 

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Here’s a crazy stat:

Two-thirds of Americans don’t have a budget.

That means that 218 million people are spending their money will-nilly with no game plan.

Two hundred and eighteen million people who are not financially successful.

Because, let’s face it:

If you need to start budgeting, get started with the easiest budgeting method! The budget by paycheck budgeting method is so simple and straightforward, anybody can do it. If you want to stop stressing over money, you need to start this budget by paycheck. A budget by paycheck budgeting method is perfect for beginners and is the exact method we used to pay off debt and become financially sound. Click to download your budget by paycheck bundle (printables free). #budgeting #budgetbypaycheck

Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.”  This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, WSW will receive an affiliate commission.  Additionally, Who Says What is a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Please review our Privacy Policy for more information.

Without a budget, you are highly unlikely to be able to afford your lifestyle, pay down debt, or save money.

Are you one of these people?

It’s ok if you are.  I was too.

And it gets better:

Creating a budget (or a plan) for your money is hella easy.

What isn’t always easy is sticking to your budget.

However, when you use a budgeting method, such as the budget by paycheck method, you can significantly increase your chances of sticking to a budget.

And, when you stick to a budget, you’ll be able to:

  • afford your lifestyle
  • pay down debt (and stay out of debt)
  • save more money
  • free up money for personal use

and more.

That sounds pretty sweet, right?

I know.  It totally does.

So, let’s get started.

We’d Love For You To Join Our Community!

By joining our community of 1,000+ friends, you’ll get access to tons of money resources, printables, courses, and more!

>> WHY YOU DEFINITELY NEED A BUDGET

Learning how to budget is super crucial if you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck and reach your financial goals.

But, budgeting can be the worst, so people tend to avoid it.  (Two-thirds of Americans to be exact!)

Here’s the deal, though:

Not budgeting is a huge, huge mistake.

Because, if there is one thing that you should keep organized in your life, it is your money.

So, why do so many people avoid budgeting their hard-earned cash?

Two reasons:

  • budgeting is can be time-consuming
  • budgeting is can be stressful

See, money is often the cause of stress, tension, and arguments between partners.  And, money controls most aspects of our lives, leaving us feeling like we often do not have enough.

So, why even bother with it all, right?

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

You 100% need a budget, regardless of how ‘little’ or ‘big’ your income is.

Because, here’s the deal:

Without a proper budget (and understanding of your finances), you will never, and I mean never, feel satisfied with your income and standard of living.

A budget is necessary if you want to:

  • afford your lifestyle
  • stop fighting about money
  • pay off debt (and stay out of debt)
  • save money

So, let’s dive into the easiest budgeting method around:  the Budget By Paycheck budgeting method.

>> HOW TO BUDGET-BY-PAYCHECK (step by step)

To start your budget by paycheck, we’ll be following these steps:

  1. Determine Your Why Factor
  2. Collect Your Financial Information
  3. Calculate Your Income & Expenses
  4. Cut Costs (if necessary)
  5. Create Your Budget By Paycheck
  6. Track Your Budget

And don’t miss this:

Your free budget by paycheck starter bundle!

>> Who is a budget-by-paycheck method good for?

Every single person, regardless of income, can use a budget by paycheck budgeting method.

In my opinion, this is the easiest and most straightforward way to budget.

Budgeting by paycheck will:

  • show you how much money you have to spend
  • if you can afford your bills
  • how much money you have left over

Therefore, by using this budgeting method, you can stop living paycheck to paycheck (or do so efficiently), pay down debt, and save more money.

As I said, budgeting by paycheck is the easiet way to budget your money because you don’t need fancy tools or resources to do so.

It really is as simple as it sounds:

Create a plan for your money every time you get paid.

This works because:

  • you are forced to evaluate your money frequently
  • you rarely will run out of money at the end of the month (because you’ve created a plan for your money)
  • making changes to your budget when unexpected costs come up is easy when you’re frequently evaluating your income and expenses
  • you can see exactly where your money is going and if you need to stop bad spending habits

Ok, so, let’s jump in!

1.  determine your why factor

We’ve already established this:

Every single person needs a budget if they want to be financially successful.

But why.

This will be different for everybody, and you can determine your why factor by asking yourself these questions:

  1. What will budgeting help me do?
  2. How will budgeting make my life simpler?

For example:

You might want to start budgeting to stop living paycheck to paycheck, to pay off debt, or to save more money.

Knowing your why is essential because it creates meaning for your purpose.  Without it, you’d have no motivation to continue budgeting.

Because let’s be honest:

If you do not have a plan for your money, how are you going to afford your dream life?

Here’s a hint:

You won’t be able to.

So, once you establish the reason you want to start budgeting, I urge you to write it down!

Why?

Because writing it down makes it real and it reminds you of why you started in the first place (if/when budgeting gets tough).

HINT:

Need a spot to write down your motivation for budgeting?  Then, I highly recommend investing in a budgeting planner, like the Budget Boss Binder.  You see, keeping all your financial information in one tidy spot makes budgeting a whooole lot easier!

2.  collect your financial information

Want to know the best part about this step:

It’s hella simple and shouldn’t take you much time at all.

You’re simply going to gather up your financial information. (i.e., pay stubs and bills)

You’ll need:

  • a months worth of pay stubs (and your partners, if applicable)
  • all of the bills that you currently pay & when they’re due
  • an average of your monthly variable spending

This is crazy but:

Most people don’t actually know how much money they make or how much money they spend.

And, when you don’t know this information, it is impossible to budget.

So, to avoid playing guessing games, take the time to gather your financial information before you try to create a budget.

3.  Calculate your income & expenses

Even though you will be budgeting your income as you get paid, it is important to calculate your total monthly income and total monthly expenses before you start budgeting.

Here’s why:

If you’re never budgeted before, you probably don’t have a firm understanding of your finances.

Therefore, you might be spending more than you can afford.

To determine if you need to cut back on expenses before you start budgeting (for better budgeting success) calculate your income and expenses now.

Your Income:

Using the information you gathered during step two, calculate your total monthly income (after taxes) from all sources.

Once you know exactly how much money you earn each month, you can determine if you are living within or beyond your means.

For the purposes of this post, let’s pretend your total monthly income is $4,500.

(Monthly Income Organizer & Financial Evaluation available in the Budget Boss Planner)

Your Expenses:

Next, you’ll want to calculate your total monthly expenses.

For the purposes of most budgets, break your expenses down into two categories:

1. Fixed Expenses

2. Variable Expenses

Fixed expenses are bills that you are required to pay monthly, such as rent/mortgage, utilities, cell phone, credit cards, insurance, etc.

Variable expenses are those that vary in cost each month and could be decreased or eliminated if needed.  These expenses include things like groceries, transportation, entertainment, and more.

If you aren’t sure what your monthly variable expenses are, begin tracking your spending in a financial planner to calculate an average at the end of the month.

For the purposes of this post, let’s pretend your total monthly expenses are $3,700.

(Monthly Income Organizer & Financial Evaluation available in the Budget Boss Planner)

4.  Cut costs

Once you’ve calculated your monthly income and expenses, you can quickly decipher if you’re living within or above your means.

To do this, simply subtract your total expenses from your total income.

If the number is a positive number:

You’re in the green and should be able to afford your lifestyle with ease each month and can easily move onto setting up your budget by paycheck system.

If the number you calculated is a negative number:

You’re in the red and cannot afford your current lifestyle, meaning you will have to decrease your expenses if you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck.

If you are in the red and need to cut costs, these are the best resources:

1.  Use BillBargain

This is a fantastic resource that will help you lower your monthly expenses.  BillBargain has successfully negotiated over 85% of the bills they receive for cell phone bills, Wi-Fi, cable, and more.  The best part?  BillBargain is 100% risk-free.  If they don’t successfully negotiate a lower price for your bills, you don’t owe them a dime.

Get started with BillBargain for free here!

2.  Pay Off Your Debt

Credit card debt will suck you dry every month if you don’t work hard now to pay off what you owe.  I highly recommend consolidating your credit card debt into a low-interest personal loan to save tons of money and pay off your debt in half the time. (Doing this helped me pay off $15,000 in debt in only 12 months!)

3.  Sign Up For Trim

Referred to as a financial health service, Trim securely connects to your bank account(s) to analyze spending, subscriptions, and recurring bill pay.  Then, Trim will help you cancel unused subscriptions, negotiate lower bill prices, and more.  In the last month alone, they’ve helped their users save over $1,000,000!!

Sign-up for Trim for free here!

Read Next…

Who knew saving tons of money could be so simple?

Furthermore, who knew you were missing tons of opportunities to save money while buying the things you already do?

5.  Set Up Your Budget-By-Paycheck

To get started:

Next, here is an example of a budget by paycheck calendar:

Let’s break it down:

For a family with two incomes, you can see that paychecks come in on the 3rd and the 4th (in blue) totalling $1,600.

First, we’ll subtract our fixed expenses for the upcoming week:

  • SF Credit Card: $25
  • Daycare: $140
  • Credit One Credit Card: $25
  • Tmobile: $110
  • Citi Credit Card: $75

Remaining money = $1225

Next, we can subtract variable expenses:

  • Food: $125
  • Transportation (gas): $20
  • Misc.: $35

Remaining money = $1,045

Now, looking ahead to the next week, you can clearly see that you will need some money from the previous week to afford the bills due in week two (purple).

Needed from previous week = $385

When you’ve completed your budget by paycheck for the month, you can now place reamining money into savings or use it for debt repayment.

As you can see, outlining your income and expenses on a budget by paycheck calendar is good for many things:

  1. You can clearly see what bills need to be paid and for how much
  2. You can easily determine how much money you’ll need from a previous week to afford your bills for the upcoming weeks (if any)
  3. Finding extra money for savings and debt repayment is clear and simple
  4. Surprise expenses can easily be worked into your budget by paycheck

To get started with your budget by paycheck, download your free printable bundle here.

6.  Track Your Budget

Most people forget this crucial part of budgeting and end up wondering why their budget failed a month after implementing it.

If you have a budget, then you need to track it.

Because, here’s the deal:

If you do not track your budget, you cannot make sure that you are sticking to your budget.  And, if you aren’t making sure that you’re sticking to your budget, your budget will fail.

You might be wondering:

How do you track your budget?

These are the best budget tracking resources:

1.  The Budget Boss Binder – $9 ($27 value)

A printable and digital budgeting planner designed to help you create & stick to a budget, pay off debt, save money, and more.  The Budget Boss Binder is un-dated so you only have to purchase once to use this planner forever.

>> To take a peek inside the Budget Boss Planner, click here. <<

READY TO AFFORD YOUR DREAM LIFE?

Do you...

worry that you won't be able to afford your bills?

never have any money left over for you?

and bae constantly fight about money?

want to stop stressing about money?

If you answered YES to any of these questions,

the budget boss binder can help you!

READY TO AFFORD YOUR DREAM LIFE?

Do you...

worry that you won't be able to afford your bills?

never have any money left over for you?

want to stop stressing about money?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, the budget boss binder can help you!

2.  Honey Money ($50 value)

An online resource to track your budget.  Honey Money is the internet’s version of a printable financial planner.  Within your dashboard, you can create your budget, track your budget, create debt repayment and savings goals, and more.  If you aren’t a pen and paper kinda person, I highly recommend this budget tracking resource.

>> Get started with Honey Money for free here. <<

Again, when you track your budget, you ensure that the system you put into place is working correctly.

Don’t let the time you spent creating a budget go to waste by avoiding this simple step!

>> Wrapping Up

Budgeting by paycheck is a super simple and straightforward way to budget your money.

It was the first way I budgeted my money and therefore was no longer living paycheck to paycheck, able to pay off thousands of dollars in debt and save more money than ever before.

I know.  These are high claims for a simple budgeting method.

But, it’s true.

And, I want the same things for you.

>> Take Action!

Gather your financial information, implement your budget by paycheck system, and track your budget for success.

Don’t forget your free budget by paycheck bundle!

And, cheers to stressing less about money!

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Happy budgeting,

– michelle

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