Using a monthly budget worksheet makes my life so much easier. I used to always have problems when anything came up like emergencies, medical bills, holidays and birthdays. Going in the hole financially trying to pay for everything. We have done a few things differently the last couple of years and a monthly budget worksheet has helped tremendously. I am sharing my FREE printable monthly budget worksheet so you can start taking control of your finances like we were able to do with ours.
I am also sharing three steps you can take to really start helping kick your finances into gear now and then later down you will see ten ways to cut your monthly spending to save even more money.
THREE STEPS TO KICK YOUR FINANCES INTO GEAR
The first is using a budget to keep track of everything. Use our free monthly budget worksheet to keep track of your main expenses and then use a notebook, excel, or an app to keep track of EVERYTHING else. You don’t realize how much you spend on things (like eating out or drinks at the gas station) until you start keeping track of every penny.
The second thing we do is shop all year long. We used to wait until right before the event (birthday, Christmas, whatever) to buy gifts. Now we buy things all year long that we find on clearance or on sale and keep them. This gives us a nice stash AND we also have some extras for when the kids get invited to birthday parties or to give to friends as gifts.
And lastly, open multiple savings accounts. I know this sounds counter-productive, but hear me out. We have savings accounts for each of our kids, a “holiday” savings and emergency savings. This means we know exactly what the savings are for so we don’t overspend or use money that was meant for something else.
Most budgets have a little wiggle room. For example, you can eat out one less time a week, don’t buy a drink whenever you get gas, don’t grab that 12-pack of soda…or a hundred other things and then put that money into savings. It doesn’t take long before you will start seeing the numbers grow in your savings account and you can start implementing this system.
Even if you only start with $10/month in one account and then go from there, that’s more than you had before.
RELATED POST: MONEY SAVING HABITS
Being organized and keeping track of your money is the first step. Know how much you are spending and where all of your hard earned money goes. Be sure to let your money sit for a while before you spend it. Putting your money into savings and being picky about what you spend it on, will ensure that your money will grow instead of “running away” and not even knowing where it went.
DON’T DELAY…Get your monthly budget worksheet NOW. Just click on which one you want below, and then you can save it, download it and/or print:
Don’t let the thought overwhelm you. It is VERY SIMPLE. You can go one step further and write down the estimated expenses next to the bill. So next to CAR you would write $210 – like this CAR ($210) then you would write your balance and then the amount paid $195. You overestimated $15 on your car payment, so if you have that money in your budget, and didn’t use it, put it into your savings account. I will go into more detail about savings accounts soon…you can get really technical and separate the funds into categories (like car, clothing, emergencies, etc).
Want to buy a car? Put that payment into your budget for 6 months, then you will know you CAN make the payment, and you will have a nice down payment saved up for your car. Want a new dishwasher? Put money into savings every month until you can pay for it in cash. Make smart decisions and only spend what you have the money for. This is what a budget does for you. I also want to share some tips cut your monthly spending so can really start building up your savings accounts.
CUT MONTHLY SPENDING WITH THESE TIPS:
- Review your current cell phone plan. There are a lot of them out there…are you really getting the best deal for your money?
- Call your cable/satellite company and go over service, pricing and ask for a discount (EVERY 6 months)
- Get rid of a home phone if you have cell phones or look for a CHEAP plan if you want to keep it
- Start using a monthly budget so you know your income and expenditures
- Ride a bike or walk (when the weather permits) instead of driving to save on gas
- Plan out your meals and only go grocery shopping once a week or every two weeks. Stop eating out as much.
- Keep track of your receipts on your phone by taking pictures of them so you know exactly what you are spending your money on, then track it in your checkbook, excel or in an app.
- Install useful apps on your phone (like your banking app, grocery stores you shop at – for coupons/sales, lowest priced gas app, streaming music for free, etc). These will allow you to do more and save more, as well as be on the go.
- Download free e-books to your phone/tablet/kindle instead of buying the book. (and rent books/movies at the library)
- Use bill pay through your bank or credit union (usually for free) to pay and schedule your monthly bills to save on stamps and bill pay fees at stores
Have more? I would love to hear them below. I hope this helps you get started with cutting your monthly spending and taking control of your finances. Leave any questions or comments and I will do my best to help!