Do you have a written household budget? If not…consider this your weekly challenge: get your budget out of your head & onto paper!
You can also grab a FREE online Budgeting Tool and tips here..
Here’s how…just start filling in the blanks! (keep in mind that some income & expenses may not apply to you…e.g. alimony!)
Step 1: Start with total monthly income:
• Spouses salary
• Child support
Step 2: Next, list your monthly expenses:
• Insurance (auto, home, life, health, disability,dental, long term care)
• Car payments
• Child care
• Memberships (country club, pool or fitness center)
• Lessons (piano, dance, etc.)
• Cleaning service
• Lawn service
• Pool service
• Loans (home equity, student, credit cards)
• Savings (college, retirement, vacation, emergency)
***Some expenses (like the ones below) tend to fluctuate, so calculate the average monthly expenditure:
• water / sewer
• gas (not for your car, but your home)
• Cell Phone
• Cable or Satellite
Step 3. Now the fun part…simply subtract your total monthly expenses from your total monthly income.
Take a long, hard look at this number because that’s the amount you should be living on every month…food, fun, gas, dry cleaner & all those everyday expenses! Please keep in mind that the average family of four spends $800 – $1000 per month just on food!
Let’s suppose you have $2000 left to spend. Set aside 30% ($600 per month) for expenses that I refer to as “Oh No” expenses…car repairs, plumber, doctor visit, big gifts, etc. These expenses should not come from your “emergency” savings because these are not emergencies…they are just part of life, & they will come up every month! If you don’t budget for them, you’ll end up going into debt to take care of these expenses.
After you set aside $600 for “oh no” expenses, you’ll have $1400 left or $350 per week…known as “weekly allowance”!
Put your $350 weekly allowance in your wallet…spend wisely because when it’s gone, it’s gone!
Let’s get this budget diet started right now!
The Budget Diet is a diet for your wallet…not your waistline, and sometimes your overspending requires your wallet to go on a CRASH DIET!
If you’re in need of some serious savings, consider this your weekly challenge!
It’s a simple 3-step process, here’s how:
#1. You must know the amount of your weekly allowance…see above.
#2. Once you’re used to spending your weekly allowance and not a penny more…let the crash diet begin!
#3. Starting this week, allow yourself to only spend half of your weekly allowance! Example: If your weekly allowance is $350, you’re going to have to live on $175…food, fun, gas, dry cleaner, etc. Continue the crash diet for 4 weeks!
This is a tough challenge, but it will force you to change some spending habits & save a lot of money!
You’ll have to think twice about every purchase!
Guest post by: Kristl, from the Budget Diet
The Budget Diet is a diet for your wallet…not your waistline! You’ll discover new money saving tips everyday to help you slim down your daily spending! The Budget Diet girl Is not a financial planner or an accountant…just a mom that knows how to live the good life on a budget! Follow The Budget Diet on facebook or twitter.
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