Big Girls Guide to Getting on a Budget
For the new year, I decided to skip the resolutions, and to do things a bit differently. I created a task list of 12 new challenges, one for each month that will last the entire month. With each challenge, I created goals to go along with it, and small tasks to accompany each goal. I am absolutely determined to immerse myself into this year, into this process and to really focus on the things that should really matter in my life.
For January, my challenge was Financial Readiness (which is just fancy speak, for check yo’ budget girl). The universe must have been in alignment for me, because at the beginning of January, a friend sent me a link to a Suze Orman’s Personal Finance Online class that was free for military. I took the class, and learned some great information on investing, retirement and getting rid of debt. From there I went through a task list of to-do’s, and was able to start the year on a positive note, with some major direction.
So, in the spirit of sharing I created an awesome way for you to jump start your own Financial Readiness. Here is your very own:
Check Yo’ Budget Girl Task List!
Create a 2017 budget: My favorite guideline for help in budgeting is Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace. Learning to budget down to the dollar, finding ways to reduce spending and pay down debt in addition to learning to operate only with cash have made HUGE impacts to my family financially. So, if you have the opportunity to take the class, I definitely recommend that you do so! If you aren’t able to spend money, Consumer.gov has an awesome budgeting worksheet and tool called Make a Budget, that is a perfect place to start.
Review all monthly bills and cancel any unnecessary items: Once you have your income and expenses detailed in front of you, you can go through it and determine what things you may be able to cancel. If you have cable, maybe Netflix or Amazon is a cheaper option. Do you have a monthly subscription to the gym that can be reduced, or canceled? Being honest with yourself about what financial items are WANTS vs. NEEDS can make a ton of difference.
Start a fun challenge: There are a TON of fun money challenges out there. The Dime Challenge, Quarter Challenge, the 52 Week Savings Challenge, and so many more. Check out my Check Yo’ Budget Girl Pinterest Board, where I have pinned TONS of challenges, financial advice and overall good stuff.
Create Financial Goals: Create a few financial goals for 2017. Do you want to have $3,000 in savings by the end of the year? Maybe you want to start college funds for your kids, or have enough money saved for an awesome vacation. Perhaps, you are a two income family, but you want to learn how to budget down to one. Creating financial goals gives you a specific target to work towards, and can help to align your spending, in a more positive direction.
Get Organized: Get a binder, a few separators and color pens and start organizing. Create a one stop shop for all of your financial information. You can include expense sheets, bill information, and labeled envelopes (where you can keep your cash and receipts). The more organized you are, the more in control you are.
The best advice that I can give you, is simply to start. Choosing to be aware of your finances leads you to making educated financial decisions, and there is no better time to start learning than now!