As wedding planners, when it comes to handling our clients’ budgets, we’re all A+ students.
But, when it comes to budgeting in our own lives, we’re failing the class.
So here are 5 simple Life Hacks that will get you back on track [away from the shops] and back on budget…
If we were graded on the amazing budget spreadsheets we create for our brides, we’d undoubtedly pass with flying colors. So, managing our own budgets should come naturally to us, right!? But sadly, no. We’ve compiled these simple steps, paired them with a little budget TLC, that will help your stress levels go down and see your bank balance go up!
Categorizing your expenses
Now I know this may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t even know the ballpark figure of their monthly outgoings. So open up an Excel sheet and your online banking app and start by writing down all your outgoings in the past month. E.g. Bills = rent, phone, cable; Household = groceries, toiletries; Socializing/Luxuries = dining out, trip to the moves, clothes. You’ll be amazed to see where you spend your money on a monthly basis…those lattes add up!
Allocating realistic amounts to each category
For the first month, I’d advise you to over-estimate slightly. You may have missed a Starbucks (or five!) if you paid in cash, so it will act as a crash mat for other expenses that may have slipped through your budgeting net. Keep all of your receipts and after the first month = tweak and adjust where necessary.
Open a new account dedicated to your budget
Sounds extreme, but it’s a great way to keep on top of your spending and ensuring you are sticking to your budget week by week. Once you get your paycheck, you can divide it up into your budget account, your savings account and an account for some monthly pocket money (hello SHOE BUDGET! we all deserve a treat every now and then!) If you budget too rigidly = doomed to fail.
Save money where you can
Look after the dimes and the dollars will look after themselves! So, make sure you shop around instead of buying impulsively. Do you really need that $100 dress when you can get a clone of it for $20 at Nordstrom’s Rack? Okay, so you still want the designer label? Look online – eBay is a great way of finding almost brand-new luxury items for half the price!
STICK TO IT!
You’ve put in the time creating your personalised budget, so you might as well stick to it and reap the rewards. The longer you do it, the easier it becomes. Some months you may be under budget and others slightly over but life’s all about balance!