Keeping more of our money seems to be one of those unicorn ideas. It would be perfect if we could, but for some reason, life happens and we just can’t seem to figure it out. Here’s my strategy to help you stick to a budget so your money goes where you want it to go! […]
Keeping more of our money seems to be one of those unicorn ideas. It would be perfect if we could, but for some reason, life happens and we just can’t seem to figure it out.
Here’s my strategy to help you stick to a budget so your money goes where you want it to go!
Step 1: Track your spending for at least a month, but three would be best. I like the app called “Spending”, it’s super easy to use. You can also just review it by going through your past bank statements. Doing it live though adds that extra sense of awareness when you’re spending.
Step 2. At the end of the month, review your actual tracked spending and place it into categories if not automatically done for you.
Step 3. Slowly look over each spending category. Take a moment as you go over each item to tune into feelings that come up when you think about that category
Are there areas where you feel like you wasted money, or that it wasn’t put to the best use?
Are there any categories that you wish you could add in? Savings, travel, gifts, etc?
Step 4. Use the information from step 2 and 3 to write out an ideal spending plan
Be realistic, but don’t be afraid to make big changes if you feel really uncomfortable with how much you are spending in a certain category.
Step 5. Write our the lifestyle adjustments you will have to make if you make financial changes in certain areas. If you are cutting back on eating out, what does this look like, what are you doing instead?
Step 6. Follow up to follow through. Create a designated time every week to review the week’s spending and see if you are on track. If not, carefully consider why that is. Do you need to make changes to your plan, or to your determination for sticking to the plan? Either is ok, but being honest with yourself will help you get to a place that really works well for you. Remember that this is YOUR plan, there is no right or wrong.
These are the exact steps I used when I started out and the same I use today from time to time when I want to ensure my money isn’t slipping through the cracks.