1. Routines to get organizedFew people understand that organization, home routines and budgeting are intertwined. When your house is organized, you feel like you have a better handle on your life. When the kitchen is clean, you can plan meals for the week. You won’t be running to the store at the last minute, blowing your grocery budget, or saying, “forget it” and going out to eat. You’ll have food ready for lunches. You’ll be able to find the items you need on hand. You’ll have clean clothes to wear, and I guarantee that will make you feel more confident and put together. You won’t be so frazzled.
Pick a task you want to get started on. Laundry can be a big mountain to tackle. However, once you create a simple routine a nd stick to it, it will no longer be an issue. Having clutter or a disorganized home can make you feel overwhelmed, behind, and like you are always avoiding something. Once it is off the table, everything else will start to fall in place. Getting behind on dirty dishes was another make-or-break item for me, so once I got it under control, my life started to go much more smoothly. Establishing routines in your home is relevant to you saving money. Not only will it ease your stress, it’ll keep you from spending money to resolve problems caused by being disorganized.
2. Create a BudgetIt's time to figure out as much as you can about where you stand. It’s the first step to getting a handle on everything. Take a deep breath. You can do this. Gather your bills, your bank statements, the login information for any accounts you have, and your monthly utilities. You’re going to start by simply writing everything out—not the details, just the simple totals. Write down what you make per month and what you owe. Open up those bills and take a look. I know it might be scary or hard, but it’s something you have to do to move forward. Once you get everything together and written down, it’s time to start putting together a budget. Having a budget gives you a launch pad for everything else. Once you’ve established your budget, you’ve got a guidebook for what you need to do next.
3. Money Management SystemThere are different methods you can use. Some include using different envelopes to manage cash or it might mean setting up an account tracker and avoiding cash all together. What is most important is finding something that works for you in a realistic and manageable way. Will you stick to it 100%? Probably not, and that’s okay. The goal isn’t perfection, but progress. Even if you slip up, you need to have some wiggle room in your budget and space to account for it.
It’s easy to say, “Oh my gosh, we HAVE to swear off spending forever, NOW!”—but that’s not very realistic. Even if you can manage to cancel your cards, hide your cash, and never step foot in a store, you’ll eventually find yourself facing a want or a need you’d like to fulfill. Make room for it in your budget so you don’t go off the rails. Be realistic.
That said, there might be times when you have to quickly increase your bottom line. For example, a job loss, illness or major unexpected expense. When this happens, don’t panic and run to get a payday loan or swipe a credit card with a giant interest rate and undo your progress. Instead, take a hard look at areas you can cut back on.
This might mean:
There are many ways to stretch your bottom line and make extra money quickly and fairly painlessly, but it does require some work. Be realistic about your money management and find a way to control your spending and bring in some extra dough when you need it.
Money can be complicated and finances can seem overwhelming. Take small steps to make progress and reward yourself as you go. While it might not mean you get to go to Disney World every time you do a load of laundry or divide your cash into envelopes, you should still take a few minutes at each step to pat yourself on the back.