Tag Archive personal finance

Create Wiggle Room in your Budget

This entry is part [part not set] of 8 in the series New Year Budget

Creating Wiggle roomCreating wiggle room in your budget.

So you have just created your budget and you now you want to get started in paying off your debt, but you don’t think you have enough extra money to really make a difference. Well, this step is about finding ways to create some wiggle room in your budget.  Doing this requires dedication and sacrifice.

Here are some ideas; your goal in this step is to try at least 5.  The more effort you put into this step the faster it will be to pay off your debt.

1. Get more in your paycheck instead of in your refund. By using this IRS calculator you can find the real amount you should have withheld from your paycheck. Use the extra money to start paying off your debt.

2. Take the Chicken Challenge – The Chicken Challenge was coined by the Cord Killers Podcast. Call your cable company and tell them you want to cancel your cable. Worst case is you actually cancel it and live off netflix or hulu, more than likely they will cut your bill.

3. Take a look at your cell phone bill, look at other carriers like republic, or PCS wireless or any other smaller carriers that may give you a smaller bill each month.

4. Look over this list of 100+ ways to save money.

5. Get creative, if you are serious about getting your financial life under control then you may have to do things you have never done and make sacrifices you have never made to be successful.

6. Stop eating out for a month

7. Suspend any other subscriptions that are costing you money each month.


Image by svilen001

Improve your Budget

This entry is part [part not set] of 4 in the series Creating a Budget
Improve your budget

Photo by hisks

Great so now you have a budget written down and you are all ready to have your spending under control.  How can you improve your budget?  Pay attention to it for starters.  The biggest mistake people make is to ignore the budget they have just put together.  It is easy to assume that everything will take care of itself now that your monster spread sheet is put together or that you have set everything up on mint.com.  But, alas, it simply isn’t that easy.

I will let you in on something, even if you used my budget template as I suggested, you forgot something on your budget.  There is a bill that will come due that wasn’t part of your initial tracking period.  That is OK.  You will just need to adjust your budget now.  Is it ok to change your budget?  If it is intentional, absolutely.  The problem arise when you simply overspend, without planning. You will need to adjust your budget several time until you have it to a good place and then you will, hopefully, get a raise or something else will change in your financial life that will require you to change or even rewrite your budget.

Understanding that your budget is a living document will help you not stress out when things come up that you require you to make adjustments.

What could I have forgotten?

  • Did you put money aside for the Holidays?  That is one of the biggest times to destroy your budget.  Save money for travel, gifts and extra workout equipment to get rid of those holiday meals meals.
  • Bills that don’t come due every month; Car insurance, homeowners insurance; subscription fees.
  • Do you have an emergency fund?  Cars need repairs, hot water tanks blow up.  If you don’t want to blow your budget you need to have money put aside for these things, they will happen.
  • It also helps to give yourself an allowance so you have some money to spend when you want something.  Leaving yourself out of the budget will lead to burnout.

What else can you do to improve your budget?

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