How you can live within a budget and still be happy

How you can live within a budget and still be happy

When you think about a budget, most people think of the word “sacrifice.” For most, it means abandoning your current lifestyle to save money. What if it does not have to be like that? What if you could stop living paycheck to paycheck and continue to enjoy your current lifestyle? What if you could be happy on a budget?!

Hi Moneyistas,

It can be done it only requires that you think a little outside the box. Here are some simple tips to help your budget work for you without it cramping your style!

  • Renegotiate Your Terms

Now and then, it’s good to evaluate all of your recurring bills. Make a call and see if you are getting the best deal possible. Seriously, sometimes all you need to do is ask! It’s also a good idea to check with a competitor.

You may find they have a much lower price and it’s worth the switch. Even when you don’t ultimately end up changing providers, checking with a competitor could give you leverage with your current company on lowering your rates.

One mistake people often make is not reviewing bills such as insurance premiums after life changes. Who knows, you may have way more coverage than you need. Review these types of bills annually to avoid overpaying.

  • Stop Paying Money in Fees:

Many fees come from financial institutions like Banks, ATMs and credit cards. Avoiding them takes careful planning and sometimes will require you to make a change in your banking institution.

If you often get stuck with bank fees or those dreaded, expensive overdraft fees, you may want to change banks or even switch over to a credit union.

A lot of credit unions and some banks offer overdraft protection and will transfer money from your savings when you run out of funds in your checking. This can really help to avoid accidental overdrafts.

Extended warranties are another type of fee you can usually avoid. It feels safer to add this, especially for big ticket items like computers or cars but research whether they are actually doing you any good.

Is there a manufacturer’s warranty? Keep in mind by paying with a credit card you do get some built in consumer protections with your purchase. Don’t ever buy an extended warranty if you don’t know exactly what it covers.

When you go to use it, you may find it doesn’t cover the entire cost of the purchase or it may take more time that you are willing to wait to get your item fixed or replaced.

  • Find Creative Ways To Pad Your Income:

Budgeting isn’t always about finding ways to not spend money. A great way to save more money is to simply make more of it! With the current technology landscape, it’s easier today than at any other time to find creative ways to make more money.

If you have a car, you could become an Uber driver in your spare time. Going out of town? Rent out your house or your apartment on Airbnb. You may be able to sell some things you don’t need on Craig’s list. You know what they say, “one man’s trash… ” If you’re crafty, you can make things and sell them in an Etsy store.

The coolest thing about the Internet is that it’s possible to connect with people even if they are a great distance away, which makes you so much more likely to run into someone who is buying what you’re selling.

How you can live within a budget and still be happy

Basics on how to create a simple budget, or spending plan

  • Step 1: Record your monthly total income

That’s the easy part. Write down what you earn. Since many expenses are billed monthly, it makes sense to use monthly income to build your budget. Use a conversion table to find out your average monthly income.

  • Step 2: Write down your essential expenses

Start with fixed bills such as rent, mortgage, car payment, credit card debt and insurance, then consider other monthly costs that are always the same. These are your essential fixed costs.

  • Step 3: List your significant variable expenses

You know that you will have these bills, but the amounts vary. Examples include telephone, utilities, food, household expenses, gasoline, medicines, public transport, shoes and clothing.

You can assign everyone an estimated amount based on past experience and round to the next $ 10.

  • Step 4: List reasonable amounts for unnecessary expenses

These include entertainment, dining out, hobbies, and other ways you spend money regularly.

  • Step 5: Find the extras

So, use your current method of tracking your spending (your checkbook register, credit card statements, Quicken reports) to see what expenses you have missed.

You will probably see items for the maintenance and repair of cars, gifts, holidays, Christmas and holidays. For items that are not recurring monthly, calculate the annual cost and then divide by 12 to see how much you should set aside each month to anticipate these irregular costs.

  • Step 6: Determine your totals

Next add up your expenses and subtract this amount from your income. With luck, you’ll come out in the black and at least have some money left over. But if your expenses exceed your income, you will see a negative sum. Do not panic – this is just the beginning of an ongoing process.

  • Step 7: See where you can cut

If you’re short on it, go back to your planned monthly expenses and see what you can get rid of.

First, look at your nonessential issues. What items can you remove for a while (maybe hobby costs, for a season)? Go through the list and make adjustments until your total cost is less than your income.

  • Step 8: Follow how you spend as closely as possible

Track your expenses every day. Take notes and explore how you can get better next month. At the end of the month, sum up your actual expenses and compare them to what you planned. Use this information to create the spending plan for the next month.

How you can live within a budget and still be happy

Blog Your Way Out of Debt: My first Official blog post.

How paid off $11,000 Credit Card Debt in 3 1/2 months

Best Kept Dollar Tree Secrets for Christmas

 

0

Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to toolbar