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What No One Tells You About Budgeting

woman budgeting with coin bank

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When you hear the budget do you roll your eyes? Like not that word again! Budgeting doesn’t have to be hard. It is not this mysterious thing that only financial gurus have mastered. Making a budget, a plan for your money, will actually help you have a better understanding and grip on your finances.

Here are some things that no one tells you about budgeting:

1. Budgets are not just about cutting expenses.

When people hear others talk about budgeting you think about that one guru who says you should not have any fun if you have debt. No eating out! No fun money and don’t even think about going to Starbucks. That’s not the case. Budgeting is to help you take control of your money and make plans for it. Plan how you want to spend and save your money. You decide where it goes and how much and when you pay down debt or how much you are going to save. You are the one making the budget that works for YOU. 

2. Fun money is necessary even while paying off debt.

Have you ever been on a diet and you cut out all of the foods you loved? One day you got tired of it and ate all of those foods in one setting and made yourself feel so guilty? That’s like not having any fun money in your budget. You decide I am going to be super strict and spend on nothing I want, ONLY needs.. Skip over all of the guilt and just go ahead and give yourself that money to spend on your favorite lunch or coffee. It is better to budget for it then to feel guilty for taking money from the grocery budget or your vacation fund. You don’t have to give up everything. You are WAY more likely to stick to your budget if you have fun money in your budget, promise.

3. You must review your budget weekly.

Reviewing your budget helps you to see how you are spending and saving. Look at your categories and see if these are the same things you want to save or spend on. Maybe you paid off a credit card and now you have extra money. You need to decide where to put it. If you don’t check your budget out frequently, it will be so easy for that money to just be spent on random things. It might even be that you see a subscription you forgot about is due for renewal, so you check your budget to see how you are going to pay for it. Checking regularly will just help you to continue to have control over your spending and know where your money is going. 

4. It is not going to be a quick fix. 

Reaching your money goals takes time. It doesn’t take a lot of time to get debt but it does take time to pay it off. It takes time to save for a house or to buy a car. Unfortunately, things come up in life and you need new tires, so you take money from one sinking fund to help cover that cost. Don’t let a setback make you throw out your budget and hard work but know it will take time and regular check ins to get to the financial freedom that you want. 

5. Zero-based budget doesn’t mean spending all your money. 

When you think of a zero-based budget, think every dollar has a place. Have you ever had an unexpected bill come up or a $12.95 subscription come out that you forgot about? You need to have a checking account buffer. some money that is left in your account for these times.

Sometimes, we think a bill has been drafted from the account but the bank is slow and that money was spent. Having that buffer will help with those headaches and can be used if oops, I spent a few dollars more than I budgeted for at the grocery store. Zero-based budget just means you allocate your entire paycheck (aka every dollar has a purpose) but it does not mean you have $0 in your account.

6. You need to make this a habit. 

Motivation isn’t enough. You just need to budget anyway. Make a reminder in your calendar that it is time to check your budget. If you need to give yourself a treat after you do your budget and check in, then do it. Make this a part of your life. The more you work with your budget, the easier it will be and you won’t dread it. You will actually feel pride from making the progress that working on your budget will get you for your financial goals.

You need to remember your why. Why do you want to pay off debt? What’s the reason why you want to save? Why are you putting in the work? It isn’t just to become debt free or to save. It might be to spend more time with your family, take a big summer trip, retire early, or build your dream house. Your why will keep you going on the days you feel like throwing in the towel. 

Budgeting can be fun (I swear). It doesn’t have to be this super intense thing that has 2138109 spreadsheets and takes 10 hours a week.It is necessary if you want to take control of your finances and your life. If you are thinking I have no idea where to start, let me help you.

You can start with my FREE foundations course today! Hundreds of people have taken this free course and it is the perfect place to start.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alli Williams

I’m the CEO of FinanciALLI Focused LLC and our mission is to you get rid of financial anxiety, build wealth & reach your big money goals. You can pay off debt, save, and spend at the same time (I’ve done it, you can too). 

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