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I’m sure all of us wants to learn how to save money but fact is it’s not easy. There are times that you’re able to save a few bucks but some expenses will come and you need to pull out that money you saved. Learning how to budget money is not easy at first but once you make it a habit, you will be successful.
1. Give yourself a reward. If you stay on budget for three months, you totally deserve a reward! So, plan for it… stay on track… and deliver. Whether it’s an extra gift card to a shoe store, or a night out with your significant other, rewarding yourself is a great way to help keep your eye on the prize and realize your why for budgeting.
2. Review your budget. It’s important to review your budget on a regular basis – not only to see what isn’t working, but to see what is working. I think both parts are equally important, because without knowing both, you won’t be as successful.
Are you saving the amount you thought you would each month? Is it going towards the goal you originally set, or do you need to change your goal a bit? Are you still spending too much on shoes, or did you do really well at cutting back? Do you have some wiggle room? Tighten it up a bit by putting even more into savings (or into paying off debt).
3. Make it automatic. If you haven’t yet, make your savings contributions automatic – meaning, a set amount should come out of your paycheck each week without you having to blink an eye. Automatic deductions help us so much!
4. Pay with cash. While paying with a credit card is great (especially if it has rewards attached), paying cash keeps you accountable. Instead of picking up an extra thing here and there while you’re grocery shopping, you’ll be more likely to weigh how much you really need each item if you know you have a limited amount of cash on you.
5. Don’t stop believin’. Did you sing that line, like I did? I want you to keep in mind that budgeting isn’t always easy! It’s just like learning any new skill, changing your diet, or even trying to lose weight – it takes work. So when something doesn’t go perfectly, don’t get too stressed out. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and do better next time. Believe that sticking to a budget is possible, and it will be.
6. Forgive yourself. If you do mess up – by splurging on an outfit you really didn’t need, or by spending too much on date night – forgive yourself! It’s the only way to move on and do better next time.
Also check out these money saving tips:
There are many secrets on how to budget money successfully, but these are the ones that have worked for me! It’s important to be flexible, and to understand that learning a new budget will take time. Be okay with that fact, and things will run smoothly (or at least smoother than they would have originally).
To live frugally is not something that I do naturally. It is something that I continue to learn how to do so that our family can afford for me to be at home with our 3 year old. It is not easy and there is some work to be done to save money and be debt free. The key for me has been to learn to spend less and save more without that becoming the focus of our family’s life. I certainly want our children to understand the value of a dollar and to make good financial decisions. However, I don’t ever want them to feel that the expenses of having them are a burden to us as parents. In our house, it has turned into more of a we save money on x, y and z so that we can do a, b or c. Our children know that we focus on keeping our monthly expenses low and they know that Mama is very serious about her coupons.
This has been a difficult balance to achieve. We began to focus on our expenses out of sheer necessity. The details aren’t important. I’ll simply say that the economy affected us as it has so many others and we had to make changes. As we faced the task of cutting expenses and living within our means, I realized that our stress was obvious to our kids and it bothered me. It changed how I dealt with the worry and the strain because I didn’t want them to worry. I don’t want them oblivious to the world, but they will face their own financial worries later in life; now is their time to be children. In the course of all of this change, I learned some important lessons about saving money and be on the way to be debt free for life.
1. Make Saving Money Educational: When my children do go to the grocery store with me, I use coupons as math lessons. I pick up the item, tell the child the price, the value of the coupon and if it will be doubled. It’s his or her job to tell me the price. When we are shopping for clothes and there is a 20% Off Sale, I ask them to figure out the reduced price of the piece of clothing. They have to figure out the answer or Mama’s not buying! I am certain that my children do not always appreciate the math lesson, but I realized recently that my mother did this with me. Because of this, I can figure out sale prices in seconds and make decisions about deals. It is a gift my mother gave to me and one that I am passing on to my kids.
2. Buy What You Need Before You Need It: I do not have a stockpile. I don’t have room for one and I’m not totally in favor of large stockpiles. I do have a few back-ups for the non-perishable items that I know we will use. For example, ketchup is like liquid gold in our house. When it goes on sale and I have coupons, I buy a few bottles. It saves me later. By doing this, I usually save on all of these items. When I do not, I end up in a pinch and have to pay full price. Mama would rather but it as a discount.
3. Plan, Plan and Then Plan Some More: If there is anything I underestimated about living frugally, it is the planning required. It is not enough to cut some coupons, sign up for the store rewards card and head on down the aisle. That will lead to a much bigger spend than you intended. Ask me, I know. I have the receipts to prove it. Saving money is a process. It involves planning meals, sourcing coupons, reviewing the sales, possibly visiting multiple stores and sticking to your plan. My approach has changed and is becoming more like a ritual each week. I have changed from a small coupon holder to a large binder so that I can find my coupons more quickly. I read all of the flyers, identify the best sales at different stores and match coupons where possible. I have changed my approach to cooking and meal planning. The more we eat in, the less we spend and the more I plan, the less we eat out. For each trip to the store, I have a list in spreadsheet form with the prices of sale items, my coupons and more. It keeps me in check and I’ve learned that makes a big difference to our bottom line.
We’ve been focused on living more frugally for about six month now and we have seen results. By cutting our expenses and saving on food, we have been able to take our kids on mini-vacations and day trips that we would not have been able to afford. We’ve refocused our attention so when possible, extra money is spent showing them the world around them. A museum trip, a weekend at the beach and a few afternoon Texas drives were made possible by this frugality. The best part is that saving the dollars has given us back so much more than money.
Thanks to Cyndy Lay for these tips!
Read more of our Frugal Ways to Save Money tips:
I know we all hear of the “get rich” schemes. We all eventually hope to “get rich“. We hope to be at a point in our lives where we do not wait for anything. The place that we feel happy. We have become a society that equates that with monetary riches.
I gave you my how to save up money tips. I also shared with you tips on living on 30,000 or less. I showed you frugal ways to get out of Debts. I didn’t really give you the tools you need to get rich in five minutes a day. I will do so now.
10 Best Frugal Work Lunches to Pack- Bringing a packed lunch to work can save some serious cash (and time at the drive thru!)If you are looking for ideas on what frugal work lunches to pack, you have come to the right place! Check out these 10 Best Frugal Work Lunches to Pack for some great ideas for your upcoming work week!
1.Make a Soup- Soups are easy meal to make for your workday. There are so many available preparations in your local grocery store, including cream of corn and cream of mushroom. These soups do not require lengthy cooking and you can just add water to them and heat them in the microwave oven. Keep them warm by storing them in a thermos. Or if your place of work has a fridge available, you can make a large bowl of it, and keep it at work so you can have multiple portions of it availble.
2.Add Bread- If you are someone that can’t fill up on just soup, then bring some bread! You can grab a loaf (or make some at home!) and add it to your soup for a nice hearty meal. If you are health-conscious like me, then buy the whole wheat variety because of the added fiber. Bring a loaf to work and keep it there if you can.
3.Prepare a Sandwich- Prepare a yummy sandwich with an egg, several strips of lettuce and 2-3 slices of tomato, with or without dressing.A sandwich is simple to make, and can keep you satisfied throughout the workday. Aside from giving you carbohydrates and protein, this lunch also gives you fiber and vitamins which will keep you feeling full and energized. You can add variety to your sandwich by adding pickles or other veggies, and using chicken strips or other meats instead of an egg.
4.Bring along some Oatmeal and Milk- Who says Oatmeal has to be just for breakfast? If your workplace has a microwave oven for employee use, then you can bring some oatmeal and a small carton of milk. Oatmeal provides a satisfying meal and, if you add milk, you increase the amount of nutrients can consume and give you more energy for the day. You can also add some fruit for some added flavor and nutrition!
5.Make a Salad- A simple salad is easy enough to make with the right (fresh) ingredients.You can customize your salad using different types of lettuce, veggies, and toppings. You can also add dressing and pasta if you prefer. I would suggest getting a small dressing container to pack with your salad, because if you dress your salad before hand, it can tend to make your lettuce wilted.
6.Eat some Fruit- The saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” can definitely be applied to work lunches. Try a variety by experimenting with other fruits so you don’t get bored and run for the fatty foods at the drive thru. You can even combine them to create your own fruit salad! (apples, pineapples, cherries, melon, etc.). This is also a great idea to pack for your kids lunches too.
7.Bake and Pack- There are different foods that can be baked on the weekend and brought to work for lunch during the weekdays. For example, muffins and breads can be baked on Sunday, and you can have 2 or three of them for lunch on Monday. Put them in plastic bags to preserve their freshness, and you can just grab and go on weekday mornings.
8.Make your own Granola Bars- Granola Bars are great for an easy lunch, and are pretty great for you as well! Granola bars are made by mixing granola, dried fruit, butter or margarine, forming them into bars, and baking them. Bring 2-3 bars or the amount that you think you will find satisfying with you to work, and you will have a nice satisfying lunch that will keep you full until it’s time for dinner.
9.Last Nights Leftovers- Leftovers are always a great choice for lunch. The food from last night can still be eaten today as long as it is properly stored and kept inside a fridge. This is one way of making sure you do not waste good food and good money!
10. Bring your own drinks- Buying fruit juices in bulk and bringing one to work each day is a great way of saving money. If you do not like fruit juices, you can also bring packs of coffee, soda’s, or waters with you. It will save you that $2-$6 dollars every day you would normally spend at the vending machine.
These are some great tips for packing your own lunch for work. It will save you time, unwanted calories, and some gas that you won’t be wasting rushing to a fast food joint everyday. What is your favorite lunch to pack during the working week?
Topic: 10 Best Frugal Work Lunches to Pack