Whether you’re paid weekly, biweekly, or monthly, it’s easy to fall into the cycle of spending your paycheck the instant it hits your bank account. With cash advance apps hitting the market left and right, there is even encouragement to dip into your income before it’s really even yours! It’s so easy to fall into the trap of living paycheck to paycheck as our society seems to push us in that direction! But luckily for you, by reading this you’re clearly taking a huge step towards breaking the cycle and learning to budget! The moment you realize that you have taken control of your paycheck is one of the most satisfying feelings, and there are simple tips you can implement right now to help you get there. So, keep reading as I’ll be breaking down a few helpful budgeting tips for people who wonder where every paycheck goes.
Invest in a calendar
Okay so this isn’t really an investment per se, but you’d be surprised how few people actually can manage their budget because they don’t have a way to visualize where their money is being spent. The team over at Clever Girl Finance has some outstanding tips and strategies to check out here. Some great first steps to take are to plot out when you’re paid and when you’re bills are deducted from your account. If you do not have automatic payments set up, it’s a good move to set that up because it will hold you accountable and help with staying consistent with your payments.
Build Savings into Your Budget
It boggles my mind how few Americans have fewer than $1000 dollars in their savings, but it’s a harsh reality. A great way to think about savings is to imagine it as an investment in your future, rather than a necessary evil. When I began saving serious amounts of money it was largely due to an attitude adjustment. I began thinking of saving as one of my monthly expenses that I simply had to satisfy. This way, saving became something I had to do, rather than something I wanted to do. Start thinking about what you have left after saving your money to spend as opposed to what you have left to save after you spend. This simple adjustment in thinking will help you tremendously. A good rule of thumb is also to build up an emergency savings fund of at least $1000 dollars to cover any out of the blue expenses. Financial expert Dave Ramsey advocates for this approach as a great way to set yourself up for success.
As in, use your smart phone to help you spend smarter! As I stated above, there’s many apps that encourage you to dip into your paycheck early, which probably isn’t a good idea, but luckily there are also so many great apps that will help you stay accountable and on top of your budget to ensure you’re not struggling in the days leading up to your next payday. You’ve got help right at your fingertips and you’ll thank yourself in the long run for getting on top of your finances!
You don’t need to be a millionaire to save money and you don’t need to be poor to live on a budget. In fact, if we lived a bit more like a millionaire, we’d probably be better off! So, whether you’re behind the 8-ball a bit and need to get on top of your finances ASAP, or you’re acting proactively to set yourself up for long-term success, getting started on creating your budget right away is a sure fire way to ensure yourself financial security well into the future.