Budgeting Tips

8:50 AM

Budget is my least favorite word. I dislike it because it makes me think about where my money is going. So a venti Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks every morning feels less like my coffee fix and more like I'm over spending. I love Starbucks just like the next person but those $5 coffees tend to add up. (A coffee every work day is 20x5= 100 for the whole year its $1,200) 


I have a few budgeting tips that I have been trying and it has been successful for me so far *fingers crossed*.

The two reasons I created a budget were simple: 
I want to purchase property and I want these student loans GONE!

Create a budget:
Such a simple first step but it is difficult to actually sit down and map out all your expenses. In creating my budget, I listed items that would not go away. (ex. Cell Phone or Car Insurance.) Next, I listed items I could pay off. (ex. car note, Student loans, and other bills that would not reoccur if I paid in full.) I use a spread sheet that maps out everything.

Get real: 
I wanted to penny pinch as much as I could but in reality I still need room to purchase a splurge. So I budgeted the splurge. My splurge was Starbucks coffee. I could spend $20 a month on Starbucks coffee. ($20 divided by $5 = 4 coffees)


Apps that help:
I use Mint to track my spending and set spending budgets. I have all of my bank accounts linked. ( I have 3 bank accounts.) I set a monthly budget for everything and it categories my spending.

Every Dollar is another app that can be utilized for tracking your spending.


Find Motivation:
If your student loans look anything like mine finding the joy in paying them down will take a while. So I searched for podcast or articles that would keep me in the mind set of budgeting and being thrifting with my spending. A co-worker mentioned Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace University class. Dave Ramsey also has a podcast and I listen to it often at work. During the podcast, Dave speaks with various listeners about how to become debt far. I find their situations somewhat similar to mine and have learned a lot.

Set a Goal:
My goal is to pay down a least half of my student loans by the time I finish my Ph.D program. My program is 3 years. It will take a lot but I know I can do it. I also want my car paid off in a year and a half. How will I accomplish it? I'll show you.

My plan of attack is to pay down all of my student loans that are under 5k. (To be transparent I have 6 student loans under 5k) I will accomplish this by paying extra on my student loans Dave Ramsey calls this the snow ball effect. You begin by paying more on the smallest bill and once that is gone you take that money and add it to the amount you were paying on the second highest and pay that one down faster.

What are you budgeting tips? Do you use the envelope method? Do you have a weekly/montly grocery budget?


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13 comments

  1. We definitely try to stick to a budget. I used Mint for years and it's a really good one for keeping track.

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  2. I have to make a budget. It's funny that I have read this today because I have been telling myself for weeks that I need to do this. SMH! Let me get to it!

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    1. Budgeting is the hardest first part and the second committing to it. :) Thanks for commenting.

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  3. I also hate budgeting so it's something I have to work on. I definitely spend less than I used to but I could still use some more focus.

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    1. Spending less is a step in the right direction. You're right once you focus it you will be unstoppable. :) Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. I use a good old notebook and pen. It keeps me on top of it all.

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    1. Hi Stacie. I love a notebook and pen! It helps to "see" what is happening. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. Great tips for budgeting! I used to be a lot more on top of budgeting in years past than I am now, but I know I need to get back to it in order to reach the goals I have for my family. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Great tips,Becc! My car will be paid off in five months, so I already know that I'm paying off my only major credit card in less than 10 months if I apply the snowball effect. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Great and practical tips. My struggle with budgeting is always actually sticking with it after a month or two.

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  8. I have a weekly/monthly budget where I set aside how much I want to spend/save.

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