MOMS ON A BUDGET: 5 BUDGETING HACKS YOU NEED TO KNOW
Are you a mom looking for ways to save money? Well, you’re are not alone! We’ve rounded up five money-saving budgeting hacks that are sure to help any mom on a budget stretch their dollars. So, put away your calculator and get ready to tackle the task at hand – making the most of your money!
Lay out the Costs
For budgeting to be successful, it is important to understand just how much you will be spending in all areas. The first step should be listing all your fixed costs, such as rent/mortgage, car payments, and utilities. Once you have categorized your fixed costs, list out all of the variable expenses like groceries, gas, entertainment and clothing. Think about the optional services you may need throughout the month like babysitting or maid service charges. When listing out expenses also include your annual bills such as car insurance or annual memberships. In addition to noting down costs, it’s wise to keep track of income as well because this will provide a road map on how much money is available for budgeting each month without breaking the bank or finding yourself with insufficient funds.
When budgeting, it is important to remember to also include yourself in your calculations. It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s important to understand that saving for yourself is just as important as saving for your family and future.
Set aside a portion of your earnings each month and put it towards something long-term like a retirement fund or an emergency fund. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you are taking steps towards financial security, and can also help alleviate some stress in the event of any unexpected expenses. With consistent contributions throughout a period, you will be able to build up a considerable amount without having too much of an immediate impact on your budget. By regularly contributing to a retirement fund early on in life, you will be more likely to have the financial stability needed in those later years when managing bills becomes more difficult.
Create three different checking accounts.
Creating multiple checking accounts can be helpful in budgeting and money management. One account will be used for monthly expenses, such as rent or mortgage, insurance and utilities. The second account should be used for other, variable costs such as food, entertainment and transportation. Finally, a third account should be dedicated to savings–for both big purchases and emergency funds. Each can have its own budget so that your spending is tracked more easily.
When each of your accounts is clearly designated and differentiated in the bank’s system, it becomes easier to recognize where things may have gone wrong if you end up overspending one month. This three-account strategy is especially helpful to those who live paycheck-to-paycheck or those who don’t have a lot of discretionary cash on hand.
We’ve created a useful budgeting system using three different checking accounts which you can follow here.
Update your debt and savings list monthly.
Debt and savings lists should be updated regularly to stay accurate. That way, you can budget more effectively, and track your progress towards your financial objectives. Generally, you should review your lists at least once a month. Start by updating all of the debt payments and interest rates for the last 30 days. Include any additional purchases or unexpected expenses that may have come up since you updated it last. Then review your map of savings goals, updating any goals that have already been achieved or changed since you last looked at them.
Move money around as needed to support those goals that have yet to be achieved or have been added since the last time you checked in on your finances. Finally, once everything is updated, take a few moments to reflect on what changes may be needed in the future so that all of your financial objectives are met.
Earn some extra cash through some easy side gigs
Side gigs offer a great way to supplement your income and make some extra money while keeping your day job. To be successful, you should focus on taking small steps — such as starting a blog, doing online surveys and offering freelancing services — that will quickly grow into larger ones.
One of the easiest ways to make extra money is by doing online surveys. Many survey sites offer a range of questions that you can answer for a few cents per question. Once you’ve earned an amount sufficient for withdrawal, you can cash out the amount.
Another great way to make money is through blogging or vlogging. You can monetize their blogs by adding affiliate links, running offers and including paid ads on their site. Alternatively, some bloggers have opted to create their own eBooks or courses which help them generate more revenue for their efforts.
Businesses of all sizes often require freelancers who know how to do special tasks like web design and development, data entry, logo design etc., All these types of work provide an opportunity to develop skills while earning money at the same time. For example, if someone has knowledge in coding he can take freelance coders’ jobs and earn good bucks out of it with added skills and expertise in developing that field too! Freelance work helps those who are looking to increase their monthly income without taking up any long-term commitment or having to leave the comfort of their home environment—allowing them to work on projects they’re passionate about while earning extra pocket money as well.
For a full list of side gigs, check our our side hustle stack.