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6 Tips for Creating and Maintaining Your Budget

6 Tips for Creating and Maintaining Your Budget

Do you have a budget?

Budgeting is something that not everyone knows how to do. Whether this is your first budget or you’re curious about how to get started with a budget, you need these tips in your life.

In college, I never had to worry about a budget. I pretty much saved every penny I made from the job at the school, minus the gifts I would buy for people, stationery, and stickers. I was a letter writer and gift giver back in the day. I had heard about budgets, but they were things that no one was ever able to keep up with. Budgets were negative things that caused stress, or so I thought.

Fast-forward to our first year of marriage, and second, and third. We tried making a budget, but we always spent more than we made. It was usually because we blew the budget eating out. Our schedules were complete opposites and we were so exhausted from working and going to graduate school, we would grab dinner on the way home from work or class. It was a horrible habit to begin, and a determent to our financial future.

If I were to sit down over coffee with my twenty-something-year-old self, these are the points I would drive home about creating a budget. Budgets are not a life sentence. In fact, they can lead to financial freedom. Here’s what you need to remember.

Basics for Getting Started with a Budget

1. Know how much money you’re bringing in

A budget comes down to how much money is coming in and going out. The very basic part of starting a budget is knowing how much money you’re bringing in. Write this down and keep track of it because it will be what helps you stay on budget every week.

2. Know how much is going out

Another basic for getting started with a budget is to know how much is going out. This means you need to track your spending for a few days. A week is a good amount to track your spending and know how much money is going out.

3. Get your envelopes ready

Most experts in the budgeting field will tell you to get rid of the credit cards and only use cash. Not only should you use cash, but you should put your cash in envelopes to help you stay on track budget wise. When the money is spent from your envelope, it’s gone and you can’t just magically grow more.

4. It may take a few months to get it right

The thing about budgeting is that it may take you some time to get it right. If you mess it up the first couple of months, don’t give up. Budgeting is nice because it helps you tell your money where to go. Everything you need to buy is accounted for.

5. Every budget looks different

You will quickly realize, as you budget, that every budget looks different. What you budget for will look way different than what your family and friends are budgeting for. Your budget may even look different based on the month. Don’t lose heart because budgets are meant to be interchangeable and not stressful.

6. Communication with your spouse is key

The key to making any budget work is communicating with your spouse. Trying to budget while they are off spending money, just won’t work. Remember to sit down and create the budget with your spouse. Do not be afraid to show them the numbers. When they realize, what is going in and what is going out, they may be more likely to get on board.

Do you have any tips for getting started with a budget? I’d love to hear your tips!


Whitney from Beauty in the Mess is married to her college sweetheart, and mama to four precious littles and their fur baby, a black lab golden retriever mix pup.

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  1. Stephanie

    9 January

    I use to take care of all of our finances. Now my husband does them. Because in the beginning of our marriage communication about them was difficult. I don’t want to put blame one just one of us, but it’s been better since he has to to see it all first hand.

  2. Kelly

    11 January

    The biggest problem I have with a budget is knowing what things will cost. Like my electric bill is always different, the fuel expense is also constantly changing. I guess winning the lotto would help 🙂

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