This a sponsored post, written by me on behalf of Dave Ramsey’s ELP program to help share budgeting saving tips for this summer. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.
Summer is the perfect time to revamp your budget. In fact, I recommend you do a detailed comb-through of your finances at least twice a year and since summer is right before the back-to-school season, right now is the best time to dig deep with your finances!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Your budget
- Your savings’ account balances
- Your debt payoff plan of attack
- Copy of your W-2 withholdings (if applicable)
- Your calendar (and your kids’ school calendar if you have it)
1. Look at your budget
Take a look at your budget and start asking the tough questions –
- Do we really need to be paying XYZ amount for this or that every month?
- Are we missing any expenses that should be included in our budget?
- What can we do find extra savings in our budget?
- When is the last time we got quotes for our life, health, auto, and home/renter’s insurance?
- Do we need to make any adjustments to our grocery budget?
- Do we have enough in savings?
- How is our progress with paying off debt?
Alright, now that you’ve asked and answered these questions, I want you to spend a little bit of time this week – making it your goal – to find ways to increase the room in your budget. Meaning, I want you to figure out what expenses you can cut, adjust, or ways to increase your income.
I know for us, the easiest and quickest way to make more wiggle room in our budget, is to call around and get new insurance quotes. In fact, we’re working on this right now – our car insurance has gone up by $10 in the past three years due to an increase in car break-ins in our area. So we’re working with our independent agent in order to find some savings here.
Another easy-ish way to “find” more money is to check the withholdings you’re claiming with your employer. Now, you may need to consult a CPA before you make any changes as you obviously don’t want to get to April 15th and find out you owe a bunch of taxes because you didn’t claim enough on your W-2. But by checking what your withholdings are, you may find that you’re withholding too much (if you end up with a huge tax refund check every year, you very well may be withholding too much) and can now give yourself a “pay raise” by changing your withholding status.
Again, check with a CPA and your HR department before you go making changes but this is worth checking into.
****If you’re reading this going, “but I don’t have a budget and don’t know how to create one!”, then head here to grab my free Beginner’s Guide to Budgeting download.
2. Make a plan for it
Okay so this is a BIG deal. You know what they say about failing to plan – “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” – well, this is totally true for the extra money you start finding in your budget. If you don’t plan for what you’re going to do with the extra money BEFORE you actually find it, then guess what? That money is more than likely going to slip right through your fingers and disappear before you can even put it to good use.
So right now, right this minute, decide where your extra money will go. Will is go towards your emergency fund? Will it go towards paying off debt? Will it go into retirement? Or maybe you’re wanting to do something more fun like a vacation this summer with your family?
Doesn’t matter what you want to do with money – just make sure that you make a plan for it right now so when you find that extra money, you won’t be swayed to do something else with it. You’ll stick to your plan.
3. Stick to the plan
Now the important piece to this puzzle – stick to the plan you made for this extra money. If your goal is to pay off debt, make sure you throw all that extra money at that debt. Remember that the only person that can control you, is you. You’re in charge here so make sure that you stick to the plan you made so you can reach your goals.
And in case you’re just skimming this post, here’s the key things you need to do get your budget revamped this summer:
- Find an independent insurance agent that you trust (we found ours through Dave Ramsey’s ELP program) and make sure to find new quotes for your insurance needs – especially if it’s been a few years.
- Pay attention to your withholding on your W-2’s to make sure you’re not withholding too much.
- Look at your calendar and plan your budget around the events that are scheduled to happen so they don’t sneak up on you.
- Make a plan for the extra money you end up finding once you make adjustments to your budget.
- Pay attention to how much you have in savings and ask yourself if it’s enough.
Okay, so you tell me – how often do you revamp your budget? What is the biggest amount you’ve ever been able to find and save from your budget?
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