The Budgeting Secrets Every Woman Should Know
Budgeting, Finances, Investing… these are just a few words that tend to be triggering for many people, especially women. The truth is, it can be intimidating to get a handle on your finances and budgeting. Beyond a lack of education on the subject matter, finances also tend to be very personal for many people. Your relationship with money and how you spend it is often deeply tied to your background, family history and upbringing. Whatever your relationship with money is, there is one thing we can say for sure: There is not one single, magic formula for successful budgeting. The key is to find what works for you and what feels the most manageable. Regardless of your financial situation, these five general practices are definitely something to consider:
No Expense is Too Small: Start by writing down every expense you have (monthly, biweekly, whichever makes more sense to you). We mean it, every single one, even the small ones. This is essential. Try to be as honest as possible. It might seem overwhelming at first, but getting a big picture of every expense you have will only help you in the long run. You don’t want to leave even the little ones out, because even small expenses add up and if you’re not accounting for them, they might just put you in a bad place.
Define What Necessity Means to You: Once you have all of your expenses written out, it helps to sort through them and determine what areas in your spending are necessities what you might be able to cut back a bit. This will look different for everyone. I think it’s easy for some to say that your Starbucks habit is an easy one to cut, but hey, if you need it, you need it. Who are we to judge? Just be honest with yourself, that’s the key. Just start somewhere and see what that looks like for you. The more cash you are able to free up, the more you can save.
Quit the Comparisons: In a world where everyone’s highlight reel is front and center (thanks instagram) it’s easy to compare what you have (or don’t) to what others appear to have. Don’t compare your situation to anyone else’s. You truly have no clue what someone else’s financial situation is and the truth is, it shouldn't matter. Comparison will not only rob you of your joy but also your paycheck. Keep moving forward and doing what’s right for you and your family.
Goals, Goals, Goals: This might sound obvious, but the truth is, many of us don’t have financial goals. We’re simply just living and taking things day by day. Setting goals means getting a handle on what might be an intimidating area in your life. But once you’re able to set goals: whether it’s paying off student loans, building up your emergency fund, or paying off your mortgage, it will allow you to take a look at the bigger picture. Making goals allows you to focus on your why. What’s the reason you’re making these sacrifices?
Give Yourself Grace: This is so important. We’re all human, no one does anything perfectly. It usually takes 3-4 months (or longer) to get a handle on this whole budgeting thing. So have patience. You’ll get there, and once you start to see the actual proof in your savings account, it will make you that much more motivated. You’ve got this!
February 6, 2020