Game Changing Habits

Game Changing Habits

How to Save Money and Habits You need to have.

I stared at my budget spreadsheet in disbelief. $900 gone!

It had been two weeks since I had worked on the budget but I thought we had been very careful in our spending. The truth was, $10 here and $37 there had quickly eaten through my checkbook. Urg!!

It never seems like we have spent much until I look at the numbers. I know you feel the same way too and it’s frustrating. Frustrating trying to just get by, frustrating being careful and then seeing you blew it.

So how do you conquer your money instead of it conquering you? I have some important habits we are going to talk about today.

Our number 1 Habit has to be

Checking Your Account Balance Every Single Day.

This has been numero uno game changer for me. Looking at my balance every morning keeps me on track. I start out knowing exactly how much I to spend in any category. I’m less tempted to splurge on a $50 blouse when I know I have $40 left in my clothing category.

Save more money with these habits.

This post contains affiliate links. For more info you can read all about it on my Disclosure page.

Habit 2.

Keeping Balances Accurate.

Remember yesterday when I said we were only writing out our budget by hand once? That is because keeping up with your money on a daily basic has to be simple enough that you will KEEP UP with it each day otherwise it will be to much work and then simple be disregarded when you get busy. You know how life gets.

I want you to think through a few questions with me right now. When you have cash do you tend to spend it faster than when it’s in your checking account or do you hold on to your cash much tighter?

Or

Are you an avid smart phone and app user?  Do you hop on your computer on a regular basic?

Depending on your answer will help you decide which kind of budgeting system is actually the best one for you.

It really does not matter exactly what kind of budgeting system you use but what is best for you. I want you to find one that really does WORK for you and that you are able to stick with over time.

It doesn’t do any good to begin a budgeting system and then get overwhelmed and forget about it. That really isn’t my goal for you. I want you to find something that works, that you can stick with forever! That is what will transform your future.

You have two kinds of options when it comes to budgeting really. The cash based envelope system or a digital system.

The Envelope System.

It works by you taking your Budget Worksheet we created yesterday and creating an envelope for each category. When you are paid you then take out the cash and place it in that envelope. When you spend money, select the correct envelope and only spend from there.

If you are single I think the cash based system can work for you but if you are married I find it can be more of a challenge because you have to figure out how to slit the cash between the two of you. If you typically do the grocery shopping but then call your honey to grab some things on the way home, he doesn’t have the cash envelope and then what? He will end up taking it out of another account, then you have remember to reimburse that account when he comes home. Which may or may not actually happen.

Been there, tried that.

It’s little things like that that will frustrate you and get in the way of wanting to stick to your budget I’ve found.

The Digital System.

I have looked and looked for an easy to use Digital System for years. I’ve used an Excel spreadsheet for many years simple because it’s set up the way I want and not how someone else thought best.

But it does take a minimal amount of time, 5-20 minutes a day to enter my figures in manually for each transaction we make. Depending on how much time you have each day, even that can be too much. For me, now that our family is growing my time is even more limited so I’ve been looking for something quicker and more automatic.

Enter YNAB.

Step one is to take your budget and enter it into You Need a Budget {YNAB} and create the categories that you use each month. It’s like a cash system in the way each category has a job and you spend out of a category. But it amazingly quick because it’s digital. By connecting your checking account to this program every transaction you spend comes in and you simple assign it to your predetermined categories. Using your smartphone you can do this on the go! How is that for staying on top of your financial information?!

You can keep track of your debts and work to pay them off quickly because they are also starting you in the face each day too.

This program has been life changing for me and I’ve even written a whole post on how you can get started You Need a Budget

Enter Personal Capital.

I’ve seen a plethora of programs that cost $50 to $150 or monthly subscriptions of $10-$15. Nothing that I have really thought was worth my hard earned dollars. So when I found Personal Capital and it was FREE I was even more excited. Savvy Savings right there!!

It works like a Savvy Dashboard for every financial record you have! It take about 15-20 minutes to begin.

You link your bank accounts, credit cards, 401k’s and investments early in the process. This is a very powerful program/app! This gives you a birds eye view of all that you own and owe. You quickly see what your money is doing for you from the dashboard. The tally then shows you your Networth. Which is motivating in and of itself, you’ll find.

Money in your checking and savings accounts is considered credits to your networth and credit cards are a debit of course. Then all of that is added up to give you a Networth Total. Pretty neat to see that figure in the top of your dashboard every time too.

This saves you the hassle of login into every account just to look at your balances which saves you time and effort. If you are like me sometimes the hassle of logging in to look at something is enough of a hassle that I just don’t do it! But by having everything in one place I’m conveniently able to see everything! Win-win!

So there you have it. TWO HABITS that will change everything! Comments below and tell me what habit you are starting to work on TODAY!! I really do love to hear from my readers and I will read each comment 🙂

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