As a mom, it’s hard enough to keep up with the daily grind. Between work, taking care of the kids, and maintaining the household, the last thing you want to think about is money. But at the end of the day, we all know that budgeting is a necessary evil.
Here are 10 tips to help you budget effectively, so you can save money and put your mind at ease.
1. Make a list of your fixed expenses
By including these items in your budget, you can get a better sense of how much money you have to work with each month. And if you find that your fixed expenses are eating up too much of your income, you may need to make some adjustments in order to free up some cash.
2. Make a list of your variable expenses
Most people have a budget for their monthly expenses, but there are always those unexpected costs that can throw things off. These are the variable expenses that can fluctuate from month to month, such as groceries, gas, and entertainment.
While it’s impossible to predict exactly how much these things will cost, there are ways to keep them under control. For example, you can make a list before you go grocery shopping, and only buy what you need. When it comes to gas, try to carpool when possible or take public transportation. And for entertainment, look for free or discounted activities.
By keeping an eye on these variable expenses, you can help avoid financial surprises down the road.
3. Determine your income
For many people, their monthly income is primarily derived from their salary. However, there are other sources of income that can contribute to your monthly total. For instance, if you receive child support or alimony, this will also add to your bottom line.
Additionally, if you have any investments such as a business or rental properties, these can also provide a steady stream of income.
Regardless of where your income comes from, it is important to make sure that all of your sources are taken into account when budgeting for the month. This will help you to ensure that you are living within your means and not overspending.
4. Determine how much you want to save
When it comes to saving money, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The amount of money you should save each month depends on several factors, including your income, your expenses, and your financial goals.
A good rule of thumb is to save 10-15% of your income each month. If you can swing it, this will help you to build up a healthy savings account that can cover unexpected expenses or be used for future goals, such as buying a house or retirement.
We are also aware that not everyone can save 10-15% of their income therefore if you’re struggling to make ends meet, don’t beat yourself up. Every little bit counts, and even if you can only manage to put away 5% of your income each month, it’s still better than nothing. The important thing is to start somewhere and to be consistent with your savings goal.
5. Allocate funds in different categories
Once you’ve determined what expenses are fixed and what are variable, and how much money you have coming in each month, you can start to put together your budget by allocating funds to different categories accordingly.
For example, if you know that you have $500 in fixed expenses and $200 in variable expenses, you can budget $300 for other necessary expenditures, like savings or debt repayment.
Creating a budget can seem daunting, but by taking things one step at a time, you can develop a plan that will help you manage your finances effectively.
6. Factor in unexpected costs
It’s always important to have a budget, but it’s even more important to have a realistic budget. Most people don’t realize that they need to leave some room in their budget for unexpected costs that may crop up from time to time.
A good rule of thumb is to allocate 5-10% of your monthly income towards these unexpected costs. This will help you to avoid going into debt if something unexpected comes up.
It’s also worth mentioning that you should have an emergency fund that you can tap into if you need to cover an unexpected cost. This emergency fund should ideally be enough to cover 3-6 months of living expenses. If you don’t have an emergency fund, then you should start one as soon as possible.