If you’ve been follow along with me for awhile then you probably already know that our family is on a strict budget. We have a goal to be debt free so through the past few years God has revealed some areas in my life that needed some major work. As well as some areas that I really struggle with contentment. It’s been a tough journey yet a very maturing season for me! I went from never budgeting to keeping track of every dollar. Here are a few simple tips and tricks you can implement to help you stay on budget and in control of your money and find contentment.
Be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Heb. 3:5
Budgeting Tips & Tricks
#1 Use a budgeting app & add everything to it. In order to be a good steward of your money, you must know where every single dollar goes! Dave Ramsey actually suggests an envelope system, to help with this. It’s a system where you use cash for everything and never use your card. You categorize your cash into envelopes based on how you spend your money. For example our envelopes were, gas, grocery, my spending money, Emma’s spending money, eating out, and entertainment. Then we would adjust envelopes as needed. We payed all of our bills online, so there was no need for a envelope for bills.
Now that we are a little more mature and understand budgeting better, we have now since moved to a budgeting app, Every Dollar. It is basically the same thing! Everything to do with money is placed in a category, and based off our income each month we divide up our finances into those categories. Within the app you enter every dollar you spend. This helps you to stay on budget and see how much you’ve spent and how much you have left.
#2 Meal plan each week– this has been a biggie for me and my family! Each week I make up a meal plan, and I make sure I have all the necessary products for those meals. By providing everything necessary for our meals each day of the week, and already having a meal planned, where I don’t have to think about it, has greatly cut down on our spending and our desire to eat out.
#3 Mani’s & Pedi’s at home– Who doesn’t love having their toes and fingernails painted? And who doesn’t love a good salon pedicure every now and again? But by minimizing the amount of times you make it out to the salon, allows you to save big in your budget! There are so many great products out on the market, that are easily available to consumers to help us get that salon manicure or pedicure at home. One of my greatest investments, was my red carpet manicure set, it provides the shellac manicure that I like from the salon. I have a whole post on how to get a the perfect manicure at home.
#4 Choose makeup products that can be purchased from the drug store. I really enjoy makeup it’s fun, and it can help bring out all of the beautiful features God has given to us! Yet it can be quite pricey when your working off a budget. But you can save big by choosing the items you can allow to be drug store. Drug stores brands have really stepped it up in the quality of their products. You can purchase some really great bronzers, mascaras, glosses, Milani blushes, brow powders, & lipsticks that can compete with high end products without the ticket price!
#5 Ask yourself do you need it? For as simple as this one question is, it has been so huge for me! Since I struggle with contentment, if I’m not careful I’ll mistake wants for needs. So by asking myself this one question, it makes me stop in that moment, and evaluate wants versus needs. Almost always it’s an item I don’t really need and something I could do without. If I’m being totally honest usually by the next day I’ve already forgotten what the item was that I thought I needed!
#6 Carry water- This is another tip that is extremely easy, and totally cost efficient! I bought a Hydro Flask 5 years ago and I never leave the house without it. By always carrying it along with me, I never feel like I have to buy a water or tea while I’m out running errands.
#7 Shop For Dupes– Amazon is a great place for this! I find tons of items for both Emma & I and we have huge when we do. If your looking for designer sunglasses, purses, shoes, or jewelry you can usually find a dupe for that item on Amazon, H&M, or Forever 21. If you do your do diligence, and search for items you really want you can find high quality duplicates for fractions of the designer prices.
#8 Finish the products you have before you buy new ones. This is another super simple one, but probably one I struggled with the most! We are always wanting the next item in beauty or wanting to try tons of different brands. From shampoos, lotions, lipsticks, face washes to hair products and everything in between we have about a gazillion products stashed in our bathrooms and vanities, that would take forever to finish. This is both wasteful and poor stewardship of money. You would be astounded by how much you will save if you start finishing up the products you have before buying new ones.