Happy Thursday! Next week Thursday will become my favorite day of the week because it is Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal day. I can’t wait. Enough of that. Let’s talk about budgeting today.
One of my favorite money saving websites, WiseBread, has an awesome post on budgeting where they state that if budgeting isn’t fun, you’re doing it wrong. I’m not sure I’d say that budgeting is my top pick for a fun activity, but I do agree that it doesn’t have to be torture. For most of us budgeting is the wake up call that we need in order to get our finances together.
Currently, I do not keep a budget. I spent about 3 years keeping an Excel spreadsheet of our finances. Every Sunday while Tom slept in, I would sit at my computer with our online bank statement and Excel open. I’d compare how we did from week to week. It was enlightening for me to see where we spent too much and where we surprisingly didn’t spend at all. I’ve gotten into such a habit of spending the same amount each week that I don’t have to keep a spreadsheet budget anymore. The budget is all in my head now and I know exactly when I’ve spent too much or when we have a little extra fun money.
I don’t suggest jumping straight to the mind budget! Sitting down and making a careful budget is something that everyone should do every now and then, especially after big life changes such as moving, job changes, and starting a family.
Here are a few budgets that you may like:
Simple family budget by Budget Worksheets
Pretty printable by SissyPrint
Design your own budget on Excel by makeusof
This week I challenge you to find a way to budget that works for you. If you would rather use pen and paper, go for it. Whatever you do, make time to sit down and take an honest look at where your money goes each month. I promise that you’ll find something there that surprises you, possibly in a good way.
Don’t worry about sticking to the budget just yet! Right now you need to be more mindful of where your money is going. Next week we will discuss how to keep up with your budget.
Don’t forget to revisit the first 6 steps:
- Identify your goal and continue to remind yourself of it. Post it somewhere around the house and think of it often, especially when tempted to spend money.
- Learn to be confident in your money-saving and spending habits. If you aren’t confident in the way you are saving money, it will be impossible to go on to the next step.
- Be honest with your friends and family about your financial goals.
- Identify your spending weaknesses and be aware of them.
- Make a list of ways to overcome your spending weaknesses.
- Decide whether to spend time or money on certain items.
- Make a budget.
Does budgeting intimidate you? Why or why not?