Budgeting Tips that Won’t Stress you out

Let’s talk money! Ah I know, such a touchy subject. To be honest with you guys, I haven’t always been the best with my finances. Especially since starting a business (thelifewithnicole.com), in the past I have been horrible with tracking my business finances, credit card debt, and more. Trust me, you can overcome! It happens to the best of us.

Now that I’m getting older, it’s time for me to start keeping track of my bank account. Spending a few hours a week

1.) Know your income

How would you know how to make a budget if you don’t know how much you’re bringing in right? If you work a salaried position, you would most likely know how much you bring home a month. For those who have paystubs that look different every week whether you’re a freelancer or hourly employee, then you would just have to figure out the average every month. Keep your money in a checking or savings account to keep track. 

2.) What are your fixed expenses? 

Fixed expenses are rent, transportation, utilities and other things that you don’t have control over. These are expenses you know you will be taking care of every month. 

3.) What are your variable expenses?

Think about the things you pay for that don’t cost the same every month such as groceries, eating out, shopping, vacation, etc. You should be able to add up these activities and calculate an average. 

4.) Keep track

This is so important! I remember when I got my first grown up job, I used to spend like crazy! Eating out, shopping, unnecessary grocery trips, etc. Then I’ll check my bank account and realize I spent wayyy too much. Luckily, banking is so advanced now and they have mobile apps where you can check your balance, view recent transactions, and transfer to savings. I also like to use a tracking app called Mint. Mint is connected to your debit and bank accounts and it notifies you every week to let you know on average how much money you have spent. This can be harsh for some, but if you want to get your spending under control, it can definitely serve you a big slice of humble pie! 

5.) Prioritize

Take a look at all of your variable expenses and see what you can cut out or cut back on each month. Do I really need to take an Uber? Do I have to have iced coffee and a croissant every morning? Or what about that expensive green juice or happy hour? Not to say you cannot do these things, but try to set a budget each month for luxuries like this. 

A couple of tips for saving money

Have a portion of your paycheck transferred to your savings. If you can’t see it, you won’t spend it right? You can do this through your bank or have HR set it up at work. This makes a huge difference. Trust me!

Eat and make coffee at home! Of course I like to have Starbucks or some trendy coffee shop coffee every morning, but it doesn’t work like that. Invest in a coffee machine such as a Keurig or Nespresso and make your coffee at home. Also eating out less will save you tonsssss of money! I used to get so mad after leaving the grocery store and realizing I spent $60, $70 or $80. But I have fresh food at home and I’m not tempted to eat out.  

 

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12 Comments

  1. Sharon Wu
    January 28, 2019 / 11:15 pm

    budgeting is so important! my bf and i started tracking our expenses on mint and that’s helped a lot to help us get a feel for where our money is going, where we need to cut back, etc. great tips!

  2. Stephanie
    January 28, 2019 / 11:39 pm

    My husband and I have been trying really hard to budget since getting married. It’s challenging since I’m self-employed and never know how much I’ll make in a month, but it’s good to still try our best to save whenever we can.

  3. January 29, 2019 / 1:06 am

    These are really great tips! I don’t like thinking about money so it’s good to have tips that won’t stress me out haha

  4. January 29, 2019 / 5:15 am

    Such a great post and so important!! Makes such a big difference when you budget and plan!

    Kileen
    cute & little

  5. Nataly
    January 29, 2019 / 2:52 pm

    I needed this post! This was so helpful!

  6. January 29, 2019 / 3:18 pm

    Great beginner tips! I’ve always been saving money since I had my first job as a lifeguard at age 16! I have a friend who works in defense contracting at the Pentagon and she’s gotten fired twice, and in both jobs, she was making over $100k per year. The minute she got fired both times, she couldn’t make her rent and I could not understand how she could make that much money and have nothing saved! I was making less than her and I always have at least 6 months worth of my salary saved. I then realized that she practiced what I like to call life-inflation. She stopped taking the metro and instead uber’ed everywhere. She ate out every night because she could afford to. She moved into her own apartment with no roommate (we live in Washington, DC where the rent is over $2500 per month on average for a one bedroom). If she stuck with living the way she used to when she made an entry-level salary on her huge six-figure salary, she wouldn’t have had a problem saving money. This is basically my long way of saying I agree with your tip on prioritizing. No need to spend your entire paycheck just because you can afford to. Put money aside!

    • thelifewithnicole
      February 6, 2019 / 12:40 pm

      WHOAAA!! I’m baffled at the fact that she didn’t have anything saved!

  7. January 29, 2019 / 4:48 pm

    Love these tips!!! they are so helpful for doing a budget.

  8. January 30, 2019 / 2:37 am

    These are all great tips- I spend waaaaaayyyy too much so I need to budget better or I won’t be able to retire!!!

  9. Suzanne
    January 30, 2019 / 6:22 am

    Such friendly budgeting tips – keeping track and prioritizing are a must for sure!

  10. January 31, 2019 / 7:34 am

    I really need to start budgeting better and these are some of the best simple tips to start out with (and you’re right they don’t stress me out, ha!) I really need to prioritize tracking everything!

    xo
    Sami
    The Classic Brunette

  11. Nailil
    January 31, 2019 / 5:24 pm

    These are great tips! Each really seems to make budgeting less than a nightmare, as they are right to the point. 🙂

    Xx, Nailil
    thirtyminusone.com

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