About budgeting I'm a constant work in progress but I can say that until 2012 I wasn't interested to have savings, every cents I earned well were spent on stupd stuff...then I had a little debt to repay and I've lost job so I understood that was time to think about my future...I started to read several financial blogs-yes I have my favorites- and start to know what the budget was and its importance...so I took first month writing every single purchase daily, looking for side hustle jobs and my social life became from normal until zero in a while but if I was focused on first week I became really bores and stressed on second week. Seemed that every shop had everything I needed (wrong think),..So during week 3 and 4 I tried to find a balance between frugal lifestyle and good social life...during this time I understood which were(and still are) my real friends, when I stopped to open wallet saying "no thanks I cannot permit but we coul do..." well magically most people disapperead from my life, while true friends helped to stay focused on my goals encouraging me, watching simply a dvd together or walk in the park, a lot of good things are completely free!
Honestly I think that during school would be teach personal finance but also parents can offer a good example, in te end my parents offered but I didn't saw it until I understood that Their method was (and is) good- but if you want to start to think about your future is better to start to have a budget...
What you must to do?
- Be Honest tracking your daily spending: you need to track everything, yes also that last minute chewing gum pack at grocery store, so in the end of the day you know where areas need to be readjusted
- Set a budgeting day: I have once per week and I can say I still am in a hate/love relation with budget, but I know its importance, I control my expenses journal and my bank account (online banking)at least once per week , but there are several apps that can help you daily
- Start Save: ok at the beginning your goal will be cover all expense so your will be a zero budget, but then is nice not only be debt free but stat to build savings fund, you can decide to put a little amount weekly, biweekly monthly into this fund and don't touc, in the end you will have a little fund that can help you for rainy days and/or unexpected bills, could be nice save at least 10% of your income every month.
- Find side hustle jobs: baby sitting, dog sitting, tutor freelance writing, waitress/waiter in a cafe during weekend, there are a lot of opportunities to earn extra cash and you can decide to put all extra money into debt repayment or into savings,,
- Have no spending days: During your spending tracking probably you understood when you spend more, in my personal case I noticed that I can overspend when I am in boring time, but now that I need to refill my emergency fund ( I had tons of unexpected bills-aka car repairs-this summer) I decided to have a more frugal lifestyle still having a good social life but with a sort of shopping ban after christmas...one thing that helped me to stay focused on my goals is little reward weekly for myself...
Now I'm debt free, I still track my daily spending, I love my frugal life because it isn't a poor life and I am in a hate-love relation with budget, but I know that without It I'd been not able to do a lot of things. I love read financial blogs I find always something really inspirational...I reward myself with coffee in a cafe with a friends or a book(I'm an avid reader that hates e-readers)...little reward helped and still helping me to stay focused on my financial goals!
Do you remember your first budgeting experience?