Write Everything Down
This can take some work, potentially, but it will be worth it. Grab a notebook that you can carry with you every day so you will have easy access to it. If you really don’t know where the money goes at the end of the pay period, write it all down. This includes a coffee at the drive-through and any vending machine used. Write everything down every day. Do this for two weeks, adding up the totals at the end of every day. Compare with any other family members in your home, make sure to add the total. It is usually pretty clear when you add the numbers up what you have been spending it on.
If you do this for a couple of weeks a couple of times of a year, it is a great check on the pulse of your budget. You can easily make changes or twinges to what costs you need to change when you are aware of them.
This also helps you determine the needs versus the wants in your life. While the wants are nice to have, it isn’t something you need to spend money on.
Get a Budget Analysis
Military families can attend budget classes through the service branch-specific Community Services or Relief Societies. These budget classes come in two forms – one in a group setting and a one-on-one budget review. A group budgeting class reviews the budgeting principle for a group. This means you can go with your partner or take turns attending to review the basics. In the individual budget analysis, you sit down with someone trained in reviewing budgets to build a budget. They assess the spending and provide guidance on where to trim if you want to or where you may need reassessments.
Wait, don’t scroll this one by. Grocery delivery is a great way to stay on budget. You are able to scroll through coupons and deals specifically to spend money on the best budget deals. You also aren’t pulled into easy grabbing or colorful packaging. Within the grocery delivery order, you can select the coupons or a sale tab to really stick to a budget. Make it a game and stick to a certain amount of money for that trip.
This also saves you from shopping while hungry. The key is to have a snack before sitting down to the grocery shopping online.
You don’t have to be a super saver to use coupons. Check out websites for your favorite stores, or just search coupons in your favorite search engine. Once on the coupon section, you can specifically browse for your favorite brands. Clip those coupons and then use them. Don’t let them expire. Think of it as money – because that is what it is.
Money Saving Applications
If you really don’t want to coupon clip, digital coupons are common and accessible. Check your store for digital coupons to add to your rewards card. There are many coupon applications as well that requires you to scan the item and then submit your receipt. These applications usually can be combined with digital and paper coupons as well, so this can save you some extra money, especially if there are multiple coupons on your favorite brands.
Get Everyone Involved
If you are in a family or couple, make sure to involve everyone in the budget plan. If everyone isn’t on board, you will not be able to stick to the budget. Plan ahead with a meeting of everyone’s spending, and build the budget plan together. Discuss writing everything down and a weekly grocery budget. Setting out expectations for the budget will make it a smoother process overall and lead to more progress.
What’s your top budget tip?