In today’s modern world, the working class is worse off than it has been for half a decade. The cost of living increases dramatically every year, and it is becoming harder than ever to make a living working a single job. For those without a college degree or specialized vocational training, it can often seem that the only way to make it is to take on extra employment.
As anyone unfortunate enough to have worked more than one job knows full well, this task is no picnic. Long hours and unforgiving workplace conditions make a life lived working two jobs a truly miserable reality. So, you’re strapped for cash and working two or more jobs is out of the question; what are you to do?
Well, short of upending the system entirely and installing a new one in its place, there’s only one thing you can do: manage your money more efficiently! While it isn’t a long term solution to the problem at hand, budgeting can save you loads of money and make your life a bit less stressful when it comes to finances. Curious to learn how you can become a budgeting pro? Read on and we’ll tell you with pleasure!
Before you can be a budgeting professional, however, you’re going to need to have a few preliminary steps taken care of. One does not simply become a budgeting expert right off the bat; it’s something that you’ve got to work on tirelessly for months or even years before you can master it.
First up, you’re going to need to get in the right mindset. Budgeting is not particularly complicated, but it can be exceptionally difficult for those used to impulse buying and casual spending. The most important prerequisite for an aspiring budgeting pro is the ability to hold onto money and not spend it in irresponsible ways. Self control is everything in this game!
Then there are the practical skills that budgeting requires. At the very least, you should be able to use graph paper to record your spending habits and income. Ideally, you should also be able to use programs such as Excel to much more efficiently organize your finances and gain a solid handle on exactly how much money you make and how much you spend.
Finally, you’ll need stable employment so you actually have a source of income to manage. While having two jobs might be a bit much to manage, having one is just something that you’ll have to accept. In time, you can work towards obtaining a more lucrative position, but for the moment you’ll just want to keep your head down and your nose to the grindstone.
If you’re going to start budgeting, you’re going to need a place to start. Luckily, we’ve gathered advice from the experts and compiled it in this easy to follow selection of tips and tricks. With the benefit of this advice, you’ll be able to save tons of money which you can then invest or spend on the things you are most passionate about. Now, let’s look at those tips!
One great way to dip your toes into the waters of budgeting is to start saving more money on a day-to-day basis. This is easier said than done, but the best way to do it is to convert your impulse spending habits into impulse saving habits. How can you do that, you ask? Well, allow us to tell you!
In order to get in this fortuitous habit, you’ll need a bank account at a bank with a mobile banking application. Create a savings account that you can easily transfer money into from your checking account while on the go. If your bank doesn’t have such a service, you can try another bank or a completely mobile banking application.
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Once everything is set up, all you have to do is put money into your savings account every time you feel the urge to purchase something you don’t need. Whether it’s a 3 a.m. Doordash order, a pair of new jeans or a new guitar too add to your collection, just squirrel the money away until the end of the month when you can decide whether or not you really need that thing.
No matter how much money you manage to save while avoiding impulse purchases, you can’t truly call yourself a budgeting pro until you learn to keep track of your finances in an efficient and technologically advanced way. Graph paper is great, but if you’re going to start saving more than you spend, you’ll need to know how much you’re saving and how much you’re spending.
Although they can be intimidating to learn if you aren’t as technologically adept as the next guy, finance applications such as Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets are a lot easier to use than you might think. There are a plethora of free online resources available to help first-timers navigate and utilize the features of these applications, and you’ll pick it up in no time.
After you get the hang of it, managing and recording your finances in a spreadsheet can actually be a lot of fun. Make a habit of sitting down once or twice a month and logging your receipts and expenses as well as your income. There’s no feeling that can even hope to rival the one you’ll feel once you know exactly what your income and expenses are each month.
We get it; credit cards are nice to have. When unexpected expenses present themselves and your salary just can’t quite meet your needs, they’re a reassuring safety net to keep things going smoothly from month to month. At least, that’s what the banks want you to think; in reality, they’re a lot more insidious than that.
Credit cards aren’t a safety net; they’re a net that will wrap itself around you and get heavier and heavier over time if you fall into it. In a day and age where credit card debt is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy, you should be very wary of relying too heavily on credit cards. Your wallet and credit score hang in the balance!
If you don’t want to fall into the same trap that countless other hapless Americans have fallen into in recent years, cancel as many credit cards as you can live without and stop spending on credit. It can be tough and it will be inconvenient, but trust us: when your friends are facing mountains of credit card debt in 20 years, you’ll thank us!
While budgeting can seem like an impossible task, we guarantee you that it’s better to get the hang of it before you’re forced to. With some time and effort, you’ll be a budgeting pro in no time. With this article, we hope we’ve given you the resources you need to start your journey towards being a more responsible and financially stable adult!
Once you do get the hang of budgeting, things are going to start looking a lot brighter. You’ll have more money to spend on yourself and the things you actually need. You’ll have more peace of mind, without having to worry about where your next meal will come from. All in all, it’s a much happier existence than living paycheck to paycheck!