Your future. Your past. That big decision you’ve got coming up. Work. Holidays. Kids going off to school. Travel. Your living situation. There is no shortage of sources of anxiety and worry and stress in our lives.
What if there was one thing you could do that would affect every aspect of your life and make each one easier? Would you do it?
What if it took a little discipline? A little time? A little saying “no” to one thing so you could say “yes” to another? Would you still do it? Or would you rather keep living a more stressful life?
I hope you’re committed to severely reducing stress and are ready to do this.
The one thing you can do to dramatically reduce the anxiety you feel in every area of your life is:
That’s right. Budgeting your money affects every area of your life for the better and reduces anxiety, worry, and stress. Here’s how:
Budgeting – creating a plan for your money and sticking to it – takes the guesswork and the worry out of your money. And because money touches every part of our lives, when we make money easier and more pleasurable to work with, we make every part of our lives easier and more pleasurable.
- If there are money issues from your past, budgeting helps you clean them up and move on.
- Big decisions to be made? Budgeting gives you the freedom to make the best choice – either by enabling you to save money up or simply using money more wisely – so the best choice – even if it’s something with a financial impact like quitting your job to start a new career – can be made.
- Stressed out because there’s always more cool stuff to do with your family or roommates than there is money to do it with? Budgeting patches the “leaks” in your wallet so there’s more to use AND trains you to prioritize your activities so you can identify and choose what’s most important for you to do.
- Big projects at work got you stressed? Budgeting works your planning muscle, which you’ll be able to flex in all sorts of situations!
Now that you’re sold on the benefits of budgeting (or at least interested), here are some quick tips for getting started:
- Budgeting is easier than you think.
- You can do this.
- It’s a simple income – outflow equation.
- Take the money you have (income) and plan how (groceries, cell phone bill, etc) you’ll spend it (outflow). Your planned spending cannot exceed your income.
- Every month is (slightly) different, so every budget you create should be (slightly) different.
- Birthdays, holidays, and bills that fluctuate (heating bills goes up in the winter) are all things you need to take into account when budgeting for the upcoming month. We’ve created lists of seasonal expenses for each month of the year to help you out.
- Start With Cash
- While budgeting software like YNAB and Every Dollar can be very handy, it’s probably best for you to start out using cash and the envelope system (grocery envelope, clothes envelope, etc. one envelope for each budget category) so you can feel your money.
- Be Ready to Say No
- Budgeting helps you set priorities and stick to them, which means it involves saying no to some things (like going out with your roommates, again) so you can do other, more important things (like saving for a car, or paying off debt). Your “yes” to better things will involve “no’s” to lesser things. Be ready. (And don’t feel bad about it!)
- Be Patient
- It’s going to take a little while (3 months or so) to get a good handle on the right amount for your budget categories. Don’t get discouraged in the meantime. And don’t feel bad if you need to adjust your amounts. Just make sure it all evens out. (Adding $10 to one category means taking it from somewhere else).
- Ask for Help
- Getting started with budgeting can be intimidating. Don’t be afraid to ask someone you know who’s been budgeting for a while for help. They’ll be glad to help. You’ve always got our contact form, too.
This post is awesome and reminded me why budgeting is worth it (sometimes I really don’t want to do/stick to the budget!) so thank you for that. But what I really love is the image you used! It’s so funny!!!