Do you already have a budget? Are you using it? It’s no secret that having a budget is the fastest way to ensure your financial success. If you’re not measuring what you’re earning and spending, it’s much harder to get your finances in order. Whether you have a budget or not, here is a quick guide to 31 days to a better budget:
1. Days 1-7:
Get your budget in order. If you don’t have a budget yet, this is the time where you need to sit down and make it. If it’s your first time making a budget, it’s a good idea to actually track your finances for a month to see what your main expenses and spending costs are. Once you’ve done that, you can sit down and make your budget. Be sure to include everything you spend money on, from random lattes while at work to cleaning products. If you already have a budget, now is the time to check how realistic it is and how well you’re doing with your budget. Do you constantly go over, do you find yourself consistently failing to meet your spending goals? Be realistic about what’s going on with your budget to make sure you’re making the most of it.
2. Days 8-14
By now you’ve had a good time to settle into your budget, and can see how it is working for you. Now I suggest you download an app to measure your budget and spending. There are so many apps out there, it doesn’t really matter which one you choose so long as you’re going to use it. Track everything you spend your money on so that you can keep yourself accountable.
3. Days 15-21
Now is the time to see how your saving goals are. For me, the purpose of a budget is always to manage my money as well as possible, so I can save as much as possible. How much are you saving? Will you be able to meet your goals? If not, maybe you can reevaluate your budget so that you can save a little more. Remember with saving that even small changes can make a big difference. Cutting out a coffee at $4 a day during the week is a saving of $20 a week, $80 a month, and almost $1000 a year. I’m sure you can think of plenty of ways you could spend $1000.
4. Days 22-28
Congratulation, you’re almost at the end of the challenge. The most important thing now is to be consistent and stick with it. You should also plan to save for an emergency fund if you don’t already have one. The amount of money you need saved depends on your living expenses. I would suggest that aiming first for a month’s expenses is a great goal and once you have achieved that you should aim to have three months of expenses saved. You might be wondering how this helps you have a better budget, well if you don’t have an emergency fund and something comes up, it can ruin your budget for months or even years. An emergency fund is a sure fire way to help you stick to your budget in the long run, so it’s very important.
5. Days 29-31
Now is the time to celebrate, you’ve revisited your budget, got into the habit of checking it regularly on an app. You have also made a plan to create an emergency fund to help yourself be compliant. I hope that your emergency fund has a little ‘play money’ and if so, treat yourself. Go out for a nice meal, or buy yourself a small gift to celebrate because you’re well on the way to better financial health.
Do you have any tips for getting a better budget? Leave them in the comments below: