5 Habits to Simplify Your Budgeting Journey

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5 Habits to Simplify Your Budgeting Journey

Learning how to budget becomes easier when I regularly review my monthly expenses and payment plan. These habits focus on managing day-to-day living expenses, particularly if you've experienced income loss or want to get back on track with your budgeting. Here's what I do:

1. Update My Expense Calendar Monthly. 

I discovered handy bill organizers at a Dollar General some time ago. Every month, I list my bills, their due dates, and how I intend to pay them—be it through my bank account, check, money order, or cash. Adding a small note about the payment method helps me stay organized, and I check off bills once paid.

2. Use an Online Budget or Expense Tracker.

While online banking is my go-to for managing my accounts, I also rely on another online tool for comprehensive budget management. This tool allows me to categorize expenses, track spending beyond my bank transactions, and even project future financial needs—all in one place and I can utilize it free!

| Need help tracking small business expenses? Give WaveApp a try – it's user-friendly!

3. Jot Down an Income and Expense Overview in a Small Notebook.

In this notebook, I create a bi-weekly snapshot of available cash and upcoming bills. If adjustments are needed in my cash flow, this is where I address them before making real-time changes. All you need is a dedicated journal, spiral notebook or just a folder with college rule paper, that's all!

| Access my personal FREE weekly 2-page digital download budget worksheet and guide as an example. 

4. Review My Monthly Bank Statements.

Even though I access my statements online, I prefer viewing them in print each month. It lets me track, compare, and make notes about transactions, ensuring I account for everything.

5. Explore Ways to Save on Regular Purchases.

I enjoy experimenting with digital tools like reward apps, coupons, and low-cost customer rewards programs. This not only boosts my budget but also adds an element of fun to the process. Sharing relevant deals with others can lead to additional savings, making it a worthwhile endeavor.

Here are a few tools and apps I enjoy using to save money, earn reward points for my regular purchases, and sometimes even for leisure items.

  • Instacart - When I need a break from my weekly shopping and have a bit extra to cover a small delivery fee, I rely on Instacart! You can get $30 off your first order.
  • Fetch - Are you familiar with Fetch? It allows me to earn points from scanned receipts for items like donuts and coffee (my indulgent favorites), among other options available at a range of retail stores. Sign up today and get 250 points!
  • Klarna - Klarna is a 'shop now, pay later' app. I've used it to break up my grocery bill in a pinch, and it syncs well with the use of Instacart too! You can get $10 off your first Klarna purchase.

These are only three free apps among many choices available. Check out the apps and websites you already use and discover rewards and cash-ins that fit your current situation. Maximize the opportunities!

| Notes: Guide to the Best Cash-Back Apps of 2023 - NerdWallet

Final Thoughts:

I've come to realize that maintaining my budget revolves around five habits I've adopted and practice each month. Regardless of whether my budget is tight or comfortable, skipping regular check-ins can easily lead me astray. Staying on track helps me experience less tension.

⭕Tip: Remember to allocate something for yourself in your weekly budget. Whether it's enjoying a reward or finding a way to acknowledge your efforts, managing money can be tough, but it does get easier!

And if you're struggling with debt, here's a credible starting point for your journey: How To Pay Off Debt: Tips & Tricks To Get You Started (thebudgetnista.com)

If you have a successful budgeting strategy, feel free to share it in the comments! 

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