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Budgeting 101: Nuggets of Wisdom

**This was originally sent as the weekly Chaos Coordinator email. To sign up for future emails, head here!**

Today, I am sharing some nuggets of wisdom from the book I am currently reading. To be honest, my eyes kind of glazed over when the author was talking about investing, trading, IRAs, and so on. I know financial planning for the future is important, but I need to know what I can do right now to get my budget under control so I CAN read about that stuff without nearly falling asleep.

So, let's get to the useful, implement-right-now tips:

*This is obvious, but many people don't do this: SET FINANCIAL GOALS. I have them for this year, next year, 5 years, and 10 years. Having a WHY will help you overcome the HOW.

*When creating your budget, have a Flex Spending Category. This is to prevent you from feeling pinned down by rigid spending categories. This money is spent after all the fixed-expense and high-priority (mortgage, insurance, etc) is paid. I talk more about how I budget into smaller categories in this post. *Leave space for slip-ups. My category was called "Stuff I Forgot To Budget For". I made a note every time I had to use that category and eventually, created a category for items that were recurring. (Haircuts, Kid's Camp Fees, Summer Activities, so on.) *If you don't know how to start a budget, start with tracking. Track every single dollar you spend and you will start to see where all your money is going, intentionally or not. (ie: You may not realize how much you are actually spending on fast food.) *Savings: Name your savings (new car, kitchen remodel, vacation) to motivate you to save. *Savings: Lock it up or keep it in a separate account that is not accessible with a debit card. It's for saving, not spending. I am currently looking into an online savings account (not with my bank) that will pay me at a higher interest rate, so I'm earning money on that account. Definitely motivation NOT to touch it. *Apply the "wait for it" rule if you want to purchase something over $100. Wait for 1 week to decide if you really want it and look for a way to buy it cheaper. *Financial Quicksand: Don't live up to your income. If your income increases, do not increase your spending drastically. Sure, enjoy a little more, but expenses are more likely to increase faster than your income. *Financial Quicksand: Don't buy into social pressures. You know.... the influencers on the 'gram. keeping up with you Facebook friends...Who knows, they may be in debt because of that fancy trip they are on.

A Budgeting Tip From Me: Start with the 34-day free trial of You Need A Budget and just start tracking to see where you really stand with your spending.

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