Do you want to reduce the stress of having to manage a budget? Simplifying your budget and your finances can help you get a jump-start on your year. Let’s reduce some of that stress today by taking a look at some ways to simplify your budget.
Simplifying does not mean deprivation or being cheap. Simplifying is frugality in the best sense of the word – making sure your hard-earned money is being used for important and impactful things.
Finding Some Extra Cash By Simplifying
Here are the 10 best ways you can simplify your budget to find some extra money to put towards your goals.
Share a Budget:
We sat down and created our family budget together. It may have taken longer, but we both know where the money is going and why.
Even when we’ve hit some major bumps this year, our bills and other essentials were paid. Most banks and credit unions offer free bill pay. Getting this done will save you on late fees.
Save and Give as If They Were Bills:
Emergencies pop up, so do yourself a favor and include savings as part of your budget. Set up a transfer every month as soon as your paycheck clears. Giving, no matter the amount, can be rewarding. Go ahead and set up contributions to what’s nearest and dearest to you.
Reevaluate Your Cable:
Streaming services like SlingTV, Hulu, or Netflix allow you to catch some of your favorite shows at a fraction of your cable bill. Want to keep the cable? Call your provider and negotiate for a better rate.
Get Smart About Smartphones:
I get it – smartphones are incredibly convenient. That doesn’t mean you should be having a large bill for it. Innovative companies like Republic Wireless or Ting can allow you to have your cake and eat it too. I have two phones with Republic and I’m paying about $30/month.
Put a Coupon on It:
I like to shop online since I can find some solid deals. To sweeten the pot, I use services like Paribus, RetailmeNot, and Honey to hunt for coupon and promo codes. It takes seconds and it can save me money.
Plan Your Meals Ahead:
Take an hour once a week and plan your meals. This can save you big bucks since you’re not running back and forth to the store, for items you may have missed. Want more savings? Make some of your meals ahead of time.
Have Fun Money:
Did I just recommend spending money to save? Trust me, you need this. It’s like being on a really strict diet. You’re going to rebel and most times it will be big. It’s better to build a realistic budget than a perfect one.
Consolidate Your Debt:
If you’re lugging around high-interest debt, it can be wise to see if you can consolidate or lower your rate. Talk to your bank or credit union to see if they can offer something. You can also use peer-to-peer lenders like Prosper and LendingClub to reduce your interest. Just remember this step is meant to help your debt snowball or avalanche go further. Getting out of debt is key to your long-term financial success.
Have Money Dates:
Get out of the house when you review your finances. No need to worry over every penny, these check-ins are just to see how you’re doing overall. Celebrate your wins and look to improve when you have a setback.
Thoughts on Simplifying Your Budget
Those are my top ten picks, but there are so much more out there. I’d love to hear from you – where do you think you can simplify in your budget?
Guest post by Elle of Simplify and Enjoy