Out of every step, this one was the most difficult for me.
Not because either my wife and I were big spenders, but because the daily cashflow management doesn’t come naturally to us. It’s something we have to work at.
Before we moved in with my in-laws, I took account of all our monthly expenses. I went through our online banking, credit card statements, everything to find our monthly intake and expenses and see where our money was going. It was an eye-opening exercise.
I knew that to make this process more manageable for both of us, we had to make it easy. That’s why I encourage everyone to find a system that works for them and stick to it. Nowadays, it couldn’t be easier too with apps on your phones such as Mint or Wallet, and resources like YouNeedABudget.com. I needed the ease of access to see how we were doing and make sure we were on track.
I created a mock budget including a line item for each of our expenses, but the budget was also flexible enough that we could make changes and not feel strapped every month.
Budgeting, like any skill, has to be learned. Don’t beat yourself up over the past. That will only slow you down for where you are wanting to go. Do, however, commit yourself to learn a new skill. Use the tools at your disposal, but remember, tools are useless unless they are implemented.
There are literally hundreds of programs and systems a person can use the master the skill of budgeting. Do you have a system that has worked wonders for? Comment below.
I’m happy to talk about more specifics and advice. Leave a comment, DM, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.