7 Tips To Make a Successful Budget and Save Money

Now I am no expert on this situation, but I want to talk about some tips that have really helped my husband and I pay off our debt as well as save money to buy our house. We do use the Dave Ramsey method and we have tweaked it just a little to what works best for our situation. 

Budgeting can seem very overwhelming, but once you get into the habit of doing it the whole process becomes second nature. As crazy as it sounds, you kind of get addicted to saving money. Budgeting can work with any income and debt you just have to find the right balance that works for you. 

Below, I am going to talk about some tips to help you get your budget in order and to help keep you on track whether it be for paying off debt, saving money or just wanting to be smarter with your finances: 

My first tip  is: 

  1. Get Rid of Any Unnecessary Subscriptions 

When establishing a budget look through your bank statement and get rid of any unnecessary subscriptions that you may have. My husband and I dropped a lot of little things that were “money suckers”, and it gave us a lot of extra money each month. Whether it’s a magazine subscription, makeup, clothes, anything that is unnecessary while you’re trying to pay off your debt, GET RID OF IT! I know this sounds crazy, but hear me out I will talk more about your “fun money” later. 

  1. Write Out All Of Your Expenses 

When budgeting it is important to be transparent about your finances. Whether you are single or you share finances with someone else it is important to write down your income and all of your expenses to see exactly where your money is going. Writing it all out really gives you a new perspective when you subtract all of your monthly bills from your income, and you realize how much unnecessary spending you might be doing. This was one of the most helpful tips when we made our budget and I will always recommend it!  

  1. Figure Out Your Budget With Your Income

Total up your income whether you have a single or dual income, and split it up by pay period. Whether you get paid weekly or biweekly. This will determine how you set up your bills and how much will come out each pay period. We are paid weekly so we split our bills up weekly to have less strain on our paycheck when paying our bills. If you split your bills payments in half according to when they are due you can put them in a separate account to be able to pay off your bills more easily each month. For example, if we have a bill that is 400 and it is due at the end of each month, since we get paid weekly we will take $100 dollars from our paycheck each week to put towards that bill to pay it for the month. You can do this with your bills according to your pay period, to have less strain when splitting up your money when you get a paycheck.  

  1. Use Cash For Whatever You Can 

One of the biggest things that has helped us to cut down on spending is by paying with cash on everything that we can. We have bills that come out of our bank account so those we leave money in a “bills” account to be automatically withdrawn, but for our spending money we use cash. This way you can physically see the money going away and it has really helped us to get back on track with our spending. This may not work well for everyone but that has helped us out a lot!

  1. Build Up A Savings

When using the Dave Ramsey debt snowball you are told to save $1000 in an emergency savings and that is SO important! It may take you awhile to get there depending on your situation, but if you have any unexpected surprises along the way at least you have that as a little cushion! However if you do have an income where you can put more back have a goal for yourself something that you are working towards whether it be saving for a house, car, vacation always put at least some money back into your savings.

  1. Make Room For Fun Money

When you go on a budget it is so easy to think “I won’t be able to go shopping anymore or go out to eat”, but that is not true!  Put a little bit of “fun money” into your budget if you see something that you like or if you and partner like to go on a date night! If you don’t use that money you can always save it up for something bigger for yourself and build on it over a few weeks! Whether it is 5 dollars to get a coffee or it is $50 dollars to go shopping, give yourself some money to spend on yourself sometimes so that budgeting doesn’t seem like it will take away your freedom!

  1. Make Your Budget Attainable 

Don’t stretch yourself so thin that you are struggling with your budget and don’t take it lightly to where your lifestyle doesn’t change and you go back into the old ways of spending. It will be a BIG adjustment in the beginning but it is SO worth it in the end to have financial freedom! Make a budget that allows you to live within your means and still be able to do the things you want. You can do both, you just have to find the right balance!

Like I said before I am not an expert, but these are some of the things that have helped us along the way! Everyone’s journey is a little bit different so you have to budget fro what works best for your family, feel free to share your budget tips with me in the comments I love to hear from you! 

Until Next Time…..

Riley Jo XOXO

5 Budgeting tips to get Out of Debt

When my husband and I got married we had quite a bit of debt for a 19 year olds. We had negative equity on a car, a personal loan, and some credit card debt. This made our finances a little slim at times and we had to learn how to work with what we had to pay off our debt and build up our savings, 

We didn’t really crack down on our budget and saving money until we started looking to buy a house. We were naive to how much it would cost to buy a home and all of the fees that came with it. We decided to make a budget, and follow the guidelines of the Dave Ramsey Snowball method,and with a few tweaks it has been working well for us so far! 

I want to share five tips that we have used and are currently using to pay off our debt and work our way to financial freedom. Our end goal is to be smart with our money now and set up healthy spending habits to use for the rest of our lives.

  1. Get Help Making a Budget

My husband and I started by watching Youtube videos on the Dave Ramsey method, and learning how to budget our money based on our income and expenses. We started out using an app called Every Dollar and it was one of the best ways to break down all of our monthly expenses. It has multiple sections and is customizable to your monthly income. It helps you to target the areas where you spend the most money, and how much is essential and non essential spending. I will also link the Dave Ramsey’s website here as a resource, there is a ton of helpful information there. 

You can also meet with a financial advisor if you feel that you can’t do it on your own. Your bank could also be a helpful resource with advice to get you back on track to saving money if you didn’t want to use an online method

  1. Get Rid of Your Credit Cards

Credit cards were and still are a HUGE chunk of the debt my husband and I are working to pay off. The swipe now and pay later attitude is so EASY to do but it can get you into so much trouble if you aren’t careful. My husband and I got rid of ALL of our credit cards except for ONE that we keep for emergencies. 

My best advice would be to keep one credit card and if you buy something with it, make sure you have the money to pay it off.  Credit cards can be a good way to build credit, but they can also be a huge gateway to overspending! 

  1. Cash, Cash, Cash

This goes along with the previous point,and was probably one of the hardest things for me to do! My husband and I try our best to do a Zero based budget through the Dave Ramsey method. This means that every week we split up all of our money down the cent, and we take out cash to use as our spending money.Since we get paid weekly we can do this but no matter what time of the month you get paid you can make it work for you and your specific situation. Only using cash allows us to get away from the “card swiping” mentality and we can physically see our money going away. It may not be this way for you, but for me it helps me to save money if I can physically see my money being spent versus swiping my card and forgetting about it. 

To help me with this I use cash envelopes and it helps me a ton to stay organized and they are pretty cute too! I will link the pack I bought on Amazon, they even come with little labels to help you personalize them to your needs! I will link those for you here!

  1. Budget TOGETHER

Of course this would apply to those who are married or in a relationship where you share your finances, but I think this is an important budgeting tip! If you are both on the same page with your spending habits it can help you to be transparent and communicate more effectively about your money. Seeing where your money goes and knowing how much your spending and saving can lead to less arguments about finances and money if you are both aware of what is going on. My husband and I have definitely had arguments about money, but knowing that we are both contributing helps us to stay on track and reach our goal together!

  1. GIVE. YOURSELF. GRACE. 

Budgeting is HARD. So cut yourself some slack the first few months that you are trying to figure everything out. It takes awhile to make such a huge lifestyle change.  Every month, even every week is different! Try not to compare yourself to others, just work hard and save your money. Everyone has to start somewhere and most of the time starting is the hardest part. 

My husband and I are not completely debt free yet, but we are on track to have all of our debt paid off besides a house and car payment by the time we move into our new home. We are also building up our savings in the meantime, and preparing for our future goals. 

Set big goals for yourself and stick to them, feel free to comment below about any questions you may have or other tips I may have left out that have work for you 🙂 I love hearing from you all! 

Until the next time…. 

Riley Jo XOXO