It’s no secret that Austin and I really struggled financially for the first 12 years of our marriage. I did everything humanly possible to save money and keep from spending. It was very hard and caused a lot of stress on us.
But then, we cracked the code for what it took for us to stop living paycheck to paycheck. These are the basic principles we used:
1. Created a Yearly Budget
Our income has always varied from year to year. We just base our budget off of the previous year’s tax return. Then we add up all of our known bills and multiply by 12. The rest of the line items, we try to create a realistic budget that we can stick within.
2. Budgeted For Repairs and Unexpected Expenses
My least favorite line items in our budget are repairs and unexpected expenses. What I hate about it the most is that these budgets are usually pretty large. Unfortunately, we end up using the full amount we budget each year.
3. Tracked Our Spending
For many years, we were on the cash system. That made it easy to track our budget. However, we switched to credit cards a few years ago. So, we put into place a few apps that help us to track our spending. We use Mint to help us with tracking our budget. We use Debitize to pull money from bank our account for every credit card purchase we make. It basically functions as a debit card.
4. Diversified Our Earnings
This is hands down the best thing we ever did for our budget. We were a single income family for a long time. However, when we diversified our earnings, we had the ability to increase what we make. There’s no end to the side gigs we’ve worked over the years. Plus, my writing and website side gig turned into a business we run together.
These are the basic principles we put in the place to get our finances under control. If you want some help getting your finances together, there’s a free webinar you can sign up for. It’s called The Stress Free Financial Blueprint. I find that when you have a formula, you can get ahead in any area of your life.