Every dollar Counts
Have you ever heard the phrase “Every dollar counts”? Saying every cent you have should be accounted for sounds crazy right? What about keeping money in your checking for going out? Gas? FOOD?! Having a pool of money in your checking account for 4-5 different uses isn’t a good idea for several reasons. The main one being….. You never know where your money goes!
Over the years I have struggled with finding the best method to budget my money in a way that helps me to save AND know where it’s going every month. Ever heard of Dave Ramsey? He is an Author and Businessman whom wrote the New York Times Best Seller “The Total Money Makeover.” I’m going to touch basis on the the two methods I am currently working on from his 7 Baby steps to financial freedom.
The Cash envelope method.
Ever notice that when you use cash, you know where your money is going and how quickly it is spent versus swiping your debit card? That goes back to what we talked about with separating money and giving every dollar a name. The cash envelope method works by tracking exactly how much money you have in each budget category for the month by keeping your cash in envelopes. At the end of the month, You check what you’ve spent by simply looking into your envelopes. By using the envelope method, You withdraw the amount you usually (or less for stricter budgets) use a month for a specific category and stuff it in your envelope to use when needed. This way, You can track your spending in that area and know when to slow down and be more cautious. This system is great for categories that usually make you overspend such as Gas, Food, Entertainment, etc. When you get paid, Take out half the total amount for each category. Always remember to Take your specific envelope with you when shopping, going out or getting groceries. If you go over what is in your envelope, Put items back! It’s hard, however it helps you to shop smarter and stay within your budget. Pictured below are the things I budget for outside of my recurring bills.
The debt snowball
Whether you have $50 or $25,000 in debt, it can be daunting to your budget. By following the debt snowball after saving $1,000 in emergency funds, you can practice an organized way of paying down that pesky balance $1 at a time. The debt snowball works by listing all debts (except recurring home & utility bills) in order from smallest to largest payoff amount. Sound backwards doing smallest first huh? We do this so that you have some “Quick Wins” as Ramsey says. If you can, pick up extra shifts, gigs or even a part time job (don’t over work yourself), so that extra income helps with those balances. Pay the minimum payment so that you’re current on all accounts, except the smallest debt. This is where those extra incomes come in handy. Put EVERY Dollar you can towards that smallest debt to pay it off. Once that is paid, you use the payment from that debt and extra income to pay off the next smallest debt. You continue that trend until all debt is paid off. When you start attacking in this manner, you realize sometimes you are putting $500-$1,000/ month towards the next debt. Once you get going, you are on your way to becoming Debt-Free!
These two methods together require great discipline, saying NO to things that don’t benefit you in the long run like hanging out and going on tripos and also being very busy and maybe a little tired at times. If you haven’t read Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover yet, What are you waiting for? These two tips are just the tip of the iceberg of the information and work sheets including in his book. Also follow his Instagram page to get inspiration when you feel defeated at times. A quote to live by and remember during this time of financial discipline is :
“ Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else!” Thats the Dave Ramsey way!
I hope this post was informative enough to at least get you going to get the book or look into more information on these methods and tons more out there for your needs!
As a Thank You, I am doing a Giveaway at 3:00EST Wednesday, December 18,2019 to 1 subscriber of the hardcopy book. Details to follow on my Instagram.
Share the word and good luck!
Email or leave a comment if you have any Questions!