I think one of the things all of us want to get better at doing in the new year is budgeting. With the holidays being over and all of the after Christmas sales dying down, it's safe to say that our credit cards need a little break. 

Happy Wednesday friends!

Ever since I was little my parents have always drilled the importance of saving money. I have been pretty good at managing my finances but since graduating college I really started to buckle down on my budgeting. Today I wanted to share my tips and tricks on how you can start budgeting and saving some $$ this year! By no means am I considering myself an expert or a financial adviser, but these are a few tips that I follow to help me stay on track with my money! 

Track your spending
First things first to track how much you're actually spending each week. When I started to plan out the budget I wanted to see where my money was going to, how much I'm spending and where I need to cut back on. You'd be surprised how fast those little afternoon snack runs and early morning Starbucks runs add up. 

For me, I found that most of my money was spent towards food whether it be late-night snack runs, going out to eat with friends, groceries, or those days where I'm just too lazy to make lunch for work. This is also a great time to check to see if you have any monthly subscriptions you're no longer using etc. If you read me How I Organize My Day Designer post you may remember me stating that I like to write down how much I spent each week on the side of my planner to help me track how much I'm spending. I highly recommend doing this to visually see where your money is going!

Calculate your income
Okay, now that we know where our money is going out, time to figure out how much we're taking in. If you work an hourly job like I do, I would just take an average of how much I work per week and calculate that way. 

Figure out your fixed costs
There are things we have to pay regardless such as rent, bills, gym membership, etc. As much as we don't want to, we're going to have to pay that regardless so before we start budgeting our money out to spend on "fun" stuff we have to make sure we have enough to keep the lights on in our place first. 

Set your goal
Are you saving up for a new car? To move out? That new purse you've been eyeing? Big or small have a set goal in mind of how much you want to save so you have that number to work for. It's easy to say "I want to save money" but having an end goal in mind helps makes you more determined to work for it. 

The 50 / 50 rule
As for saving, I tend to try to stick to the 50/50 rule. After subtracting my fixed costs from my income, I take the remaining balance and try to only use 50% for the rest of my spending for the month (gas, groceries, #adutling things).  So let's say I have $1200 after all of my fixed costs, I would then try to plan to only spend $600 and save the other $600. From there I divide up an allowance for each category for the month such as gas, groceries, personal items, "fun money", etc. 

Having a weekly and monthly allowance really helps me to make sure I stay on track with my spending. If I know I only have $25 left to spend on going out to eat I probably won't try to schedule a dinner date at a nicer restaurant. This also helps prioritize what you really want to spend your money on and make you take a step back on if you really need/want something.

I know everyone has their own financial situations and can't afford to save half their paycheck so you can always adjust the numbers to fit based on your needs.I find that having a set limit of how much I'm putting away to save/spend has really kept me on track on how much money I'm spending each month.

If you want to find out other ways to save some money this year, I wrote a blog post on my top 7 Money-Saving Tips! I hope this helped you all out in some way and let me know if you have any budgeting tips that work for you down below! I hope you all have a wonderful day and as always, thank you for reading!


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