Budgeting Money- How to know what to Buy and what to Pass on

Budgeting money is no joke, trust me.

I can’t even begin to tell you how embarrassing it is to not have enough money to pay for everything.

I carefully plan out how my expenses will be spent or I will be absolutely broke. I have went through it before and I will tell you about it. I have gone shopping and spent too much on things and had to take them back to the store, its no fun.

Each pay period, delegate how much you can spend for each item by writing a list of bills and necessities.mom saving money image

We all know how important our housing payment, vehicle and utilities are- these should be at the top of your list. Once you have those paid, you need to allocate where else the money will be spent. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have an unlimited amount in our bank accounts to splurge, so it is critical to our lifestyle to budget well.

You have to decide what is essential and what is frivolous.

Do you like to shop? Who doesn’t? Things can get pretty expensive especially if you are a mom.

Before you rush off to the store, I want to break down each category of shopping lists and see what we can do to make them cheaper and how you can be style savvy in the process. You should have a good idea of how much you are going to spend before you go.

1. Groceries are the most critical part of budgeting money and I can give you some tips to help with this.

First of all, you should decide what the most important items are. A detailed list is very important because you can estimate how much it will cost and where you should go to purchase them for the best price. Meal planning is by far the one I struggle with the most, but in order to know what foods you need and how much, this is a very valuable technique to add to your budgeting. Skip the junk food, I know I am a health nut, but from personal experience, healthy foods are just simply cheaper. Also, eat at home. Only spend your allotted budget on foods you can prepare and take with you. It’s just more expensive eating at restaurants. Buy in bulk, you can save lots of money buying all the meat, essential starches and canned goods for the month in one go. Freezing items will be a great way of knowing you will have what is needed. Buy cheap brands, compare prices and purchase what will get you more for less. Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. Keep count as you are moving throughout the store and don’t buy anything unnecessary.

2. Clothing IS a necessity.

If you’re like me, you are thinking, “shopping means clothes, shoes, etc.” This one is really tough because we all love name brand quality, but really, if you are willing to give on that a little, you can make some smart choices. The best clothes are the ones that fit your personality, style and preference. There is no need to spend a fortune on clothes or settle for what you don’t want either. Where you shop is important but not necessarily for name sake but expense. Shopping around is also a good idea, but you should be aware of how much gasoline it will take to achieve a successful shopping day.  You can find awesome, gently-used items at your local thrift store. This is great when you have kids because they like getting more for less as much as you do! They don’t mind that it belonged to someone before them, it’s new to them. You may think there isn’t anything there for you, but you might be surprised by what you find. When you do want to get a few brand new items, search for the best mark-downs available.

When you buy items that cost a little more, make sure to take good care of them so they last longer. Wash things by hand, hang them up to dry instead of putting them in the dryer. Learning to sew small stitches will also keep you from wasting decent items. Try not to let the kids wear their Sunday best in the mud. Remember when buying clothes it’s always a good idea to save money because they won’t last forever. Spend less and get more, but don’t trade quantity for quality, this is what your family will be wearing after all.

3. Toiletries and beauty care extras of this nature are a necessary evil.

We have to buy them so we should stick to the amount we can afford to pay for them. We all have our favorite shampoo or facial cleanser and it’s hard to say “no” to that new tube of lipstick. I won’t proceed to tell you what you can and can’t afford, but you know that you can wait for that new nail polish if it’s not on your budget list. When choosing bathroom and skin care items, buy in moderation. Choose the best priced brands and don’t skip out on desirable traits.

4. Home and car expenses seem to cut into our budget the most.

Oil changes come at a time when you can’t afford them and home repair is a never ending thing. Home improvement is something we all want to do, but don’t always have the financial means. By sticking to what has to be done versus what we want is key in saving money. It is important to have your vehicle checked out thoroughly each year so planning ahead is important. It would also be a good idea to arrange your assets to cover the cost. Once a year is a good time to invest in new fixtures, paint, or window coverings. My family usually does this around income tax return.

Here are some tips to saving money when doing home repairs.

The most important thing to remember when budgeting money is to remain focused on your needs and only splurge on wants when you’ve planned ahead.

What are your budgeting goals and how do you meet them?

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