Ways to Clean Up Budget

Quite honestly, I’ve been scratching my head for some time now wondering where our money goes… here and there and everywhere it seems. And when we really need something, often we are finding that our hands are tied and we need to use the credit card. My husband and I bring in enough money monthly that we should be able to save, theoretically. Unfortunately, we don’t have much savings at this point and it is time to get a serious handle on our financial past and present so we can secure a better financial future. So here are six very doable ways that I’ve come up with–OK, so these aren’t NEW ideas at all here. I’ve just done the reading and research. Let it be known that I’m definitely not a professional or a financial expert. Please keep that in mind as you read on.

  • Clean up and clean out our house this fall and have a yard//garage sale. This is going to be a LOT of work, but in the end, we will have extra space AND some extra cash to put toward bills or savings.
  • Pay bills second, pay ourselves first. This means taking the 30 seconds to log in to the bank account and throw in some extra cash into the savings account. This is like, rule #1 of saving. Rule #2 is “Don’t touch your savings unless it’s an emergency, and even then, reconsider it!” Haha. Okay maybe not, but clearly for us financial discipline is lacking.
  • Create a daily spending limit and stick to it. That’s right. Daily. Because sometimes, those of us who aren’t so good with budgeting, need serious boundaries. This way, we can really look at “What am I spending my money on? Is this a necessity, a treat, or should I//do I need to save my daily allowance for something in a few days?”
  • Commit to paying down debt. There are a few ways to do this effectively, but, as I’ve been reading, the simplest is to take it in small chunks and pay off the smallest one first. Then tackle the next smallest, and so on. This is a great way to see progress! (And I like to see progress sooner than later!) There is a school of thought–and a wise one at that–that says pay off the debt with the highest interest rate. This is a really good idea too.
  • Focus on needs instead of wants… for now. I think we have to look closely what we want to spend our money on… for me, I like getting my nails done. I also like buying clothes for myself and my family. But right now these things need to be put on hold. We have more than enough, and frankly–even though I loathe it–I can do my own nails for a little while. I don’t want to deprive anyone, but I think it is a valid exercise to simplify life a bit; get creative with what we have, use what we have, and then, after a period of two or three months, see where our financial priorities are.