Frugal Fridays:Make a Budget & Stick to it

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Probably one of the most important things you can do to help you save money is to make a budget! I strongly recommend a zero-based budget. A zero-based budget means evey dollar already has a place to go! Your income-expenses=zero, Here's some tips for making one:



  • Know how much money is coming in-Write down all of the income that you will be receiving for the next month.
  • Know where the money needs to go- Write down all of your expenses. This is where that list we talked about will come in handy. For those bills that aren't a fixed price(water, electric, ect.) budget for the highest bill that you've received in the last year. Obviously, some months you will have a little money left over these categories. Have somewhere for this to go-pay off debt, savings, or a small treat for everyone for helping save money in these areas! :)
  • Make sure you budget for every expense you may have-Clothes(even if no one need anything! Carry any left over amount over to the next month. This way when everyone needs new shoes it won't be such a financial burden!), Sitters, Hair cuts, Date Night, Family Outings, ect.
  • Track how much you actually spent- Have a column in your budget to write down how much you actually spent.
  • It's not going to be perfect-No one gets the budget right the first time they make it! (Okay, well maybe someone out there has but it definitely wasn't me!) You will need to adjust it for the first few months to find something that works for you! I look over our budget the last Friday of the month and adjust it where it needs to be. 
  • Stick to it-This is the hardest step those first few months! We have become a society that wants things now, not 6 months later when we've got the money saved up for it. Using cash is a good way to help you stick to your budget. When it's gone, it's gone!



  • Jill added another tip in the comments below: 




  • It's important to remember that "keeping a budget" isn't just looking at what you've already spent...or at what you need just for the next month. You also need to forecast ahead. So if today is March 1, my budget should be forecasted (as much as possible) through February 28, 2013.Why? Because not every expense is monthly. Examples: My city bills me for water/sewer quarterly. I get an oil change on my car quarterly. I pay property taxes annually in December. Maybe I'll owe on my income taxes come April.If you only focus on the next month, you're not preparing yourself for quarterly, bi-monthly, or once-a-year expenses and you might find yourself scrambling.

    • We get all these costs together and divide that amount by 12 to decide how much to set aside each month. We also set aside a little every month for Christmas and Birthday gifts. 


    Check out Dave Ramsey's site for some good worksheets to help you with your budget.


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    I'm linking up at these blogs: Homemaker by Choice, The Modest Mom, The Better Mom, These Five of Mine Plus Two , The Straightened Path,  Homestead Revival, Growing Home, Far Above Rubies, Becoming a Strong Woman of GodTime Warp Wife, & The Alabaster Jar, The Purposeful Mom





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    9 comments:

    1. This is exactly where our focus is right now!! Great post!

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    2. Wonderful tips, Ashlyn. Very helpful. :)
      Blessings,
      ~jolene

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    3. I found your blog post via the Homestead Barn Hop :) :) I really like your budget ideas, especially about making it a zero-based budget. I'm going to give that a try and see how it works ;) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

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    4. This is a wonderful post. Reminders that we can all use. Thank you for sharing.

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    5. Visiting from the Barn Hop.
      It's important to remember that "keeping a budget" isn't just looking at what you've already spent...or at what you need just for the next month. You also need to forecast ahead. So if today is March 1, my budget should be forecasted (as much as possible) through February 28, 2013.

      Why? Because not every expense is monthly. Examples: My city bills me for water/sewer quaterly. I get an oil change on my car quarterly. I pay property taxes annually in December. Maybe I'll owe on my income taxes come April.

      If you only focus on the next month, you're not preparing yourself for quarterly, bi-monthly, or once-a-year expenses and you might find yourself scrambling.

      Great tips though!

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    6. That's a good point, Jill! I will update this post to include your tip! For some reason, I didn't think about those non-monthly expenses when writing this post. I'm not sure why because we do have those in our budget as well. Thanks! :)

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    7. Thank you for linking up at Thrifty Thursday! We love our zero-dollar budget (though I never knew it actually had a name!). It's such a good feeling to have money already set aside for something so you don't have to put things on a credit card all the time, isn't it?

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    8. Wonderful tips! While my husband was in school we kept a pretty simple "budget" i.e. "don't spend money!" Haha! :) Now that he's out and earning an income, we've seen how important it is to tell our money where to go!

      Thanks for linking up at Thrifty Thursday!

      ReplyDelete

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