Let's talk about budgeting. I hate it and I'm sure most people do but it is so necessary. I'm not the best at making the budget I'm just good at the following. ;) Trey makes our budget 2-3 weeks at a time. We sit down for "budget meetings" and look at what bills are due and when, what our paycheck will be, and how much we need to put aside for savings or anything else we may need (clothes, trips, etc.).
It is so hard to stick with a budget and we don't always follow it to a T but we try. We have goals we would like to one day meet. We have an amount we would love to have in our savings and we also wish to one day become debt free. Dave Ramsey has some amazing tools and books for this!!
Here are a few things that can help when living on a budget.
+Adjust your budget:
Some months you may need to go clothes shopping for the new season and one month you can put that money elsewhere like on debt or maybe a vet visit. Some months have holidays you will need to buy for such as Christmas and birthdays. Just make sure you know whats going on that month and adjust your budget accordingly.
+Meal planning and grocery shopping:
This is huge. We usually eat the same things for breakfast and lunch so I really only meal plan bigger meals like dinner. I like to sit down and plan a week of meals out on paper. I write down what I will need and then go back through and see what I already have in my fridge/pantry. It is so easy to eat meals out but that can add up quickly! So meal planning will help with the impulse of eating out.
+Needs and wants:
This is so hard for me. When shopping it's hard to ask yourself is this really a need or just a want. If it's not a true NEED then put it back for now until you have money in your budget for it to be something you just want. ;) A good example of not a true need would be this, "I need this nail polish because I don't have this shade of pink." Believe me that has been a question I've asked myself! LOL No you don't NEED nail polish... ;) But yes this can be bought if you know you have x amount of money you can spend on non essentials.
I feel like this contradicts what I said in the meal planning. But I think eating out is ok as long as you have put it in your budget. When eating out though you can still cut costs by getting water instead of cokes and tea. Another good idea if you don't care for water would be to bring your own water flavorings. They make tons of flavors and you can just squirt some in or put you a little packet in your glass.
These are just some ways we are able to save some money. And I hope that you find these useful as well!