Everyone needs to budget and stay on track. I don't care who you are if you start living outside you means to impress someone. You do not need to have the latest anything, and kids will be fine in hand me downs! Let me give you little lesson of what I have learned about knowing where your money is going and keeping track of your dollars.
I know what a lot of people are thinking "I already live paycheck to paycheck". Well guess what when I quit working to be home with my children, and we went down to one income we were living paycheck to a week of being broke before the next pay check. Now we can actually make it to that next paycheck (most of the time). Either way our bills are always caught up!
To give you a little background about where my information is coming from, I am an accounting major. When I decided to stay home I told my husband that I wanted to go back to school so when all the kids grew up I would have a real career! Well I have 4 semesters to go, but I would like to help others learn a little more about their money.
Below is a list of steps to make budgeting fool proof and keep you on track!!
1. Be Smart about your spending!
Always pay what is important before you go out to eat, shopping, or to the movies. Just because you have money doesn't mean you should start spending (we all do it). Follow the Pinterest Link below to some really cute budget sheets and make it your bible. PAY YOUR BILLS!!! Never put a bill of not matter what. If you have enough to cover it by eating at home then you better do it!!
2. Be stingy with your money
As horrible as it sounds do not go handing out money for anyone to just go blow on something unnecessary, until bills are paid and necessities are purchased. On your budget sheet be sure to include groceries, gas, and toiletries your household is low on and in need of!
3. Don't be afraid to use you savings Apps and Coupons
I use to be afraid to hold up the line when shopping, but now I compare prices everywhere, and I use any coupons I can get my hands on. It doesn't matter how irritated that person in line behind you is because if you can have that much more money left over it is worth it! I know sometimes 50 cents doesn't sound like much but when you add in all the other saving it will surprise you!!
4. Plan you shopping ahead of time
I like to have a plan of attack, because I do go shopping with my children. I know what is cheapest and at which store. I change up our food menu depending on what is on sale! I don't go crazy and over buy just because it is cheap, I buy what is necessary. When that is done I know that my family will not starve, but I also have to meal plan ahead of time by what is on sale!
5. Keep your receipts.
As ridiculous as it sounds do not leave that receipt crumpled on your floor board. Have some envelopes on hand so you can store ALL of your receipts. Then when you add them up and see where you are overspending it will help you make adjustments during the next pay period.
This is all just for starts. There is so many thing you can do to stay on budget and keep your family financially stable! Do not be embarrassed that you are not rich or that you have had to reuse clothes on your children, and especially don't ever let anyone make you feel like you are not good enough because you do not have the newest car, phone, or a new home. Live with in your means and most importantly make sure your children are taken care of! As long as those little ones are happy then that is what should really matter.