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Beginner budgeters have a tendency to quit sooner than they want, but you do not need to be one of them.
It is no secret that starting and creating a budget is not hard at all, you can pretty much start one every single day. The hardest part of it is making it work for you.
Today, I will share with you budgeting tips for beginners that you can do to create and maintain a budget that works for you. After all, everyone’s financial situation is totally different.
15 Budgeting Tips For Beginners
1. Identify Your “Why”?
Creating a new habit like budgeting is not always smooth sailing, you have to have a clear “why” to stay motivated and stay the course.
Maybe you want to be debt-free sooner, or you want to save to buy your dream home. Identifying your goal will make it clearer why you need to stick with your budget.
Put your goals down on paper or create a vision board so that you can keep your goals always in mind.
2. Ditch Negative Money Mindset
Having a negative money mindset means that thinking about money elicits fear, scarcity, and unhappiness. If you dwell on that thought, you will never succeed in your financial goals.
When you reverse your negative mindset into a positive money mindset, you don’t focus on how bad your financial situation is, instead, you look at what you can do to turn your situation around.
3. Have Clear And Realistic Budgeting Goals
When you have goals, you clearly know what you are working towards. Establish your long term goals and break them down into short achievable goals.
Short term goals will motivate you to reach your long term goals as they give you quick wins along the way. Make sure to celebrate every quick win to help you stay the course.
4. Come Up With A Zero- Based Budget Before The Month Begins
Planning ahead of time can save you a lot of headaches later. The same goes for budgeting. Having set aside an amount for a specific expense would prevent you from going over your budget.
When you budget using the zero-based strategy, every dollar will have a job. And doing so before the month begins will help set you up for success.
Here is an article that I wrote if you are not familiar with Dave Ramsey’s zero-based budget.
5. Use A Budgeting App
It can be tough doing budgeting the manual way so it is better to use budgeting apps which make it easier and convenient for you. Apps also minimize errors.
I use the Everydollar app for our zero-based budgeting and it makes it so much easier, just plug and play.
Here are some budgeting apps that are perfect for couples.
6. Get Your Partner Involve
Getting your partner involved in your joint finances is crucial in the success of your relationship. After all, no one wants to be told what to do with their money by a romantic partner.
You can start by setting financial goals together so that both of you are aware on what you are working towards.
Then set up regular accountability meetings where both of you can set up a monthly budget that works for both of you. You will then use these times to make changes and adjustments to your finances.
7. Have Sinking Funds
Sinking funds are savings that are set aside for certain expenses. It is a saving strategy in which you set aside a little amount each month to prepare for larger purchases in the future.
When you have sinking funds, you will be prepared and be able to pay cash for a big expense like buying a new washer and dryer or a car repair.
No more swiping of credit card and be in debt. You will also be able to enjoy your purchase more because you know that you will not be in debt.
9. Create A Buffer In Your Budget
We all make mistakes and you can make mistakes in your budget too. Afterall, you’re only a human.
So there will be times when you will miss something that will cause you an overdraft fee or you unintentionally underbudgeted your food or gas money.
That’s where a budget buffer can save the day. The budget buffer is used for small fluctuations in the management of your money.
It allows you to automate your bills without worrying about overdraft fees and the same time accommodates if you have variable paychecks.
10. Use Vision Trackers To Track Your Progress
There will be times when the drive to keep working on your goals will be lower than when you first started, and you will find yourself unmotivated.
And it’s ok. It happens to the best of us.
To prevent this from happening, the best thing that you can do is to keep track of all your progress using vision trackers.
These trackers will show you how far away are you from achieving your goal and how much you have accomplished.
11. Understand That Every Month Is Different
Life happens and there will be times that you need to make changes and adjustments in your budget. Therefore, one of the best budgeting skill is to be flexible in your budget by keeping in mind that every month will be different.
There will be months when you have more expenses like back-to-school months or holiday months.
12. Make Automation Your Friend
Budgeting can get complicated and stressful at times because you have to keep track of everything. So by automating some of your savings or your expenses, you will be able to lessen the burden and even minimize errors.
13. Use Cash Envelope Method To Curb Overspending
If you are familiar with the cash envelope method of budgeting then you’ll know that you’ll unlikely overspend.
It’s because you are only allowed a specific amount on a certain expense category. Once it’s depleted , it’s gone.
14. Prioritize Needs Over Wants
To be able to prioritize needs over wants, you have to first know the difference. “Needs” are things you need for survival while the things that are inessential are considered “wants”.
Knowing the difference will help you prioritize and figure out what expenses are necessary and which ones can be deferred.
15. Budget For Fun
When you have some fun money in your budget, you will be motivated to stay on track with your goals. When you treat yourself a little , it will give you a boost to keep working on your goals.
Afterall, you worked hard for that money, you deserve to enjoy it a little.
16. Find More Money in Your Budget
When you’ve been budgeting for a while and you’ve now established your needs and your wants, you’ll discover that there’s a lot more money in your budget.
You’ll find out that half of your beauty money can be on the home repair sinking fund instead or your Friday-eat-out fund is better used to beef up your emergency fund.
17. Don’t Panic When Your Budget Did Not Work
Finding the right budget that works for your financial situation does not happen overnight. This is especially true if you get paid biweekly or have an irregular paycheck. It takes multiple trials and errors. Therefore, don’t give up when your first trial fails.
18. Perform Budget Check-In Regularly
Budgeting is definitely not a set-it-forget-it type. In fact, it is something that you need to check back on regularly. You need to review it, make changes or adjustments so it will align with your finances.
Final Thoughts On The Budgeting 101 Tips
Budgeting may seem easy but it’s actually hard. However, if you follow these simple budgeting tips, you will be able to come up with a monthly budget that can work for you.
If you are ready to take your budgeting to a serious level, here are some of the best budget planners that you can choose from.
Are there any other budgeting tips for beginners that you can add?
- How To Create A Monthly Budget
- 10 Challenges OF Budgeting
- Components of Budgeting
- Basic Steps Of Budgeting
- Best Budgeting Practices For A Healthy Budget