Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Budget Cuts.

One topic I consistently get e-mails, text messages, twitters, and calls about is budgeting. It turns out that many of my blog readers are trying to meet financial goals and trying to make cuts in their budget to get there. While out to dinner last week one of my neighbors as well as my friend Jessica were asking me about leading another Financial Peace University class, apparently they'd be the first two to sign up! The next night I had a scheduled phone call with my friend, Mer, in Chicago to help her start towards a budget as well.

For now, it's not looking promising that I will have the time needed to play hostess to an FPU course BUT I would like to continue to share with you all what I've learned along the way in hopes that each of you will meet your goals too! And as always, keep the e-mails coming. I love talking through your budgets with you, I really do.

I'm pleased to share that 2012 has been my best year financially yet. I know it's early in the year but my hardwork at learning the system in 2010 as well as my gazelle intensity to get debt free in 2011 have paved the way for 2012 to be fabulous (on a budget still, of course). However, there's no resting in your current situation...getting ahead and staying ahead takes work. So here's some resources and hints you might find helpful...

Total rookie? Need to make a budget? Start here and make yourself a 'quickie budget'. Note: this is a free resource, take advantage of it!

More of a techie? Try this one. This helps you use to get your catagories right. I have several friends who use this and love it! There's an app on your phone that will automatically update when you use your debit card. It does alot of the leg work of budgeting for you. Once you make your catagories, it tells you when you're out of money. This is a thing to know, clearly.

If you feel like you have money oozing out of your house it might be time to look at how you can cut your at home expenses. If so, take a look at this:

Cut your costs by room: via pinterest.

One of the big ones for me that I was pleased made the chart? Making your own coffee! I buy amazing gourmet coffee at Marshalls (yes, Marshalls) for 7.99 which lasts me more than a month v. Starbucks at 3 bucks a day. This is a big money saver. I should, however, confess that I hit up Sonic Happy Hour pretty much daily to the tune of 1.23 per day. I rarely eat out, but this is my splurge. Diet cokes. And you can't judge me because they're in the budget!

If you've been on this blog for a while then you've read a lot of my budgeting advice but what I may not have touched on before and want to make sure you know now is this: pay yourself first. Wait, maybe I should start by saying that if you're a believer - tithe first, pay yourself second! But anywho, put what you've determined into savings BEFORE you start paying bills, spending, etc. And let me go ahead and say for those of you who are anything like me, don't take it out (some of you just started sweating). Pay yourself before you pay your bills because let's be honest, there are never leftovers!

Also, never ever forget to weigh out needs v. wants! This is key. But to assure you that I put my money where my mouth is I will tell you that I've decided to cut my cable as of March. It costs me $108 bucks a month and I watch less than 2 hours of TV per week (on average). So, it's going goodbye in honor of being a good steward of the money I have. I am KILLING my savings this year, blowing my goals per month out of the water and it feels great.

So loves, make those budgets, cut those expenses, pack those lunches, and manage those wants because I want to see you all reach new levels this year!




Michelle P said...

Budgeting is very important!

Domesticated-Bliss said...

Thanks for the tips! We can all use a little help when it comes to saving money!

Angie Martinez said...

I want to join FPU class if you do one! I love Dave Ramsey, but never did FPU! Miss you girl, happy you are doing so well!

Tiff said...

Thank you for the tips! My hubs and i are always looking for ways to stretch the cash/money!!
I found your blog--cause I am the Tiffany with the Tory boots you want! Ha! :)