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How to Start Budgeting

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Our Family Finance Rescue Story

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I know how it feels! The weight of all your financial worries makes you feel like you can barely tread water for one more second before your head goes under! You find it mind baffling that for some unknown TO YOU reason you can not stick to a budget even if your life depended on it.

I have totally felt that! Ugh! We lived that life for way too long! Before hubby and I started having kids we were out of control with our spending. We had zero savings. Overdraft fees looked like a recurring charge on our bank statements. We would set “budgets”. Nope! We didn’t stick to them for more than three days max!

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I am talking about how we got our family finance in order and paid off $20k in debt and how there is hope for you too! I’m sharing my secrets and giving you a dose of serious motivation to get started with your family finances in 2019! Continue Reading →

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6 Ways to Get Your 2019 Financial Goals in Order

This setting financial goals post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting Pennies Into Pearls by using my links!

Hey Pearl! 2019 is here and it’s a GREAT time to sit down and really get your goals set for this year. We could set all kinds of personal goals, but I am here today to help you set your money goals for 2019.

Let’s reflect on 2018 first, shall we? What were your financial wins and loses last year? Is there something that you are doing particularly well, and areas that could use improvement?

Write them down! Now, let’s dive into the 6 best tips I have for setting financial goals for 2019!

Make sure you also follow me on Instagram where I often share stories talking about creating a budget, like these. 🙂

 

Related Articles:

Our Budgeting Basics

5 Money Questions for Debt Free Living

When You Suffer from Budget Burnout

 

We will be talking about setting your financial goals to support your overall dreams! If your financial goals support your dreams, you will be much more likely to stick to them. Let’s dive deep and get those dreams realized!

 

The Game Changing Tool That Keeps Our Family On Budget Every Month!

 

Hopeless.

 

$20,000 in debt, one income, overdraft fees every two weeks, and plenty of amazing dreams for our family that felt completely out of reach. Why couldn’t we stick with our budget? What were we doing wrong?

That is where hubby and I found ourselves back in 2011. I wish I could go back in time and give myself a giant hug and tell her that she is about to figure it all out!

Once we got our booties in gear we paid off our debt in less than one year, and immediately started working towards saving to buy our first home. We made that dream a reality almost exactly 12 months later!

Oh! We also celebrated our 10 year anniversary by taking a couples trip to Costa Rica that summer. Fully funded with cash!

What dreams do you have for your family? How are you going to make them actually happen? Do you have a plan? How are you going to stick with it?

The key to sticking to a budget is to use cash! Remember that stuff? Seriously, cash is T-H-E single tool we use that has helped our family cut our food budget from $1,000 to only $400 a month!

It’s a simple idea but using a cash envelope system is exactly what we started using to see immediate results and said goodbye to those overdraft fees!

It is statistically proven that when you use cash you spend less money. It is such a powerful visual reminder that the dollar number you are spending is coming from your pocket and not an imaginary never ending bank account.

Using a cash envelope system is what keeps our family on track with our budget every single day! When using this system every dollar you pull out of your wallet is coming directly from a categorized budget. You visually see money leaving your pocket and that gets you thinking twice about your purchase.

“If I buy this now, I won’t have enough to buy _______ later.” You have to weigh your wants with your priorities.

Want to learn how to start a successful cash envelope system? This week and next week I’ll be doing a free LIVE online training on exactly that! Click here to reserve your spot!

Step by step help on setting up your cash budget. Help you decide how much money you need. How to make it work with your unique pay schedule. How to manage it all between family members. What and what NOT to use cash for because not everything needs a cash budget. I’ll help you and your family switch the mindset from using your cards to using cash!

So, now that we’ve discussed a way to propel your financial goals to success, let’s talk about setting those goals so we have a PLAN! Financial goal setting is so important because if you don’t have a plan in place, you will end up wandering around aimlessly and never end up where you want to go. Valuable time and money wasted! And Pearl, I KNOW you have things to do and places to be, and the last thing you want to do is waste your time and money!

 

6 Steps to Financial Goal Setting

 

  1. What do you value?

What is valuable to you in your life right now? It may be spending time with friends, getting outdoors, working out, cooking meals? Once you know what you value, you’ll be better equipped to set your financial goals to help facilitate those values in your life.

  1. Brainstorm Your Dreams

I want you to list out ALL of your dreams, whether they are fiancial or not. Once you know what dreams you have for your future, you can create financial goals that lead you in the right direction! Make a list of 5 dreams you have for the next year, 5 dreams for 5 years from now, and 5 dreams for 10+ years.

  1. Prioritize Those Dreams

Now that you have a big “brain dump” of your dreams, let’s narrow it down. Prioritize and get down to the 3 most important dreams for the next 1, 5 and 10 years. Pick 3 dreams for each time period. From here, we are going to start to make a list of actionable steps to take for each dream you have. Where do your goals and values align? Make sure every goal you choose reflects what you value most.

  1. Top 3 Life Goals

Now we are going to dive in even deeper. Let’s narrow it down to your top 3 goals for your whole life. Don’t focus on anything else but three at a time. I know this is a hard step, but its so important to help drive you towards making financial choices that help you get to your dreams the fastest.

  1. Get specific

For each of these 3 top goals write down:

  • What the goal is
  • Why it’s a priority and why it makes the cut and deserves your attention
  • Write down any potential obstacles that might stand in your way
  • What financial baby steps will help you achieve your goal. Write them down.
  • Give it an ideal due date
  1. Reevaluate Regularly

Now that we have these goals, and steps to reach them, you’re going to reevaluare every 6 months to see where you’re at with achieving them. You’ll be able to readjust at this time. For example, lets say your top goals were getting better at meal planning, saving for a vacation and spending more time outside, but then you had a baby. Now you may shift to saving for college for that child in the future. Our priorities change from time to time so make sure you’re adjusting as you go.

Setting big, lofty goals can be really challenging. I expect this to take you some time to work through. But having these goals laid out is going to give you an excellent starting place for building a goal based budget. Another thing that will help is taking one of my FREE webinars coming up this week and next!

I will be explaining the ins and outs of cash envelopes and how it’s literally saved my family thousands of dollars a year!! Join the FREE webinar now!

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Our Family’s Cash Envelope System Breakdown

There are a few things that will be huge game changers when it comes to sticking to your budget once and for all! The very most important is to start using a cash envelope system!

You remember that stuff right? Cash. It’s that stuff you used to use as currency in exchange for goods or services.

Using cash instead of swiping your debit or credit card every time you step into a store is statistically proven to help you spend less money! I’m guessing that might be a problem for ya.

But you don’t want to just go pull a random amount of cash out of your bank account and head straight to the store with no plan. That could result in financial disaster for you!

 

The very most crucial step in sticking to a budget for your family is to start using a cash envelope system! This example is full of real life numbers from a family’s cash envelope system. Use this as a guideline for starting your cash envelope system for beginners.

Continue Reading →

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Our Family’s Monthly Grocery Budget

What would your monthly grocery budget look like if you spent it all in one day? That is exactly what I do for our family every single month and I want to teach you how to do the same thing! It’s all part of living the Pearl Life!

Why would you want to do that? Well I guess you wouldn’t be interested in learning this life changing mom strategy if you don’t want to save thousands of dollars each year…

Oh you do!? I kinda thought you might be interested to see what our monthly grocery budget strategy looks like. How about I share some real life numbers with ya?

What would your monthly grocery budget look like if you spent it all in one day? Creating a monthly grocery budget strategy SAVES YOU THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS each year because you will be eliminating unplanned trips to the store to pay full price which also eliminates impulse purchases at check out! Continue Reading →

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Getting Started on a Budget – Our Family’s Budget Basics

When it comes to getting started on a budget that you will actually stick with, there are a few budget basics that need to be established. It’s super simple and you can probably get this done in just a few minutes! I’ll show ya how!

Our family has had to learn the hard way with getting our personal finances on track, but that doesn’t mean you have to!

Learn from our mistakes and our wins and skip the hard part! I am sharing our real numbers today in hopes of painting a clearer picture to help you as you are getting started on a budget.

What you need to do is put yourself in the same shoes and ask yourself the same questions. These budget tips for beginners will help you set the basic groundwork for creating a hugely successful family budget that will not fail!

7 essential basic tips of budgeting for beginners. Get a crystal clear example of getting started on a budget by looking at the real life family finances of a middle class family living in one of the most expensive cities in the US. These budgeting tips for beginners will help you start a budget with motivation and the tools necessary to stay on budget. Continue Reading →

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How to Get One Month Ahead of Your Bills in Less Than 30 Days

The bills keep on coming! Unless you are an extreme minimalist who lives off your own land and built your own self-sufficient solar energy system, you are pretty much guaranteed every single month to have to pay up.

And even if you are such a minimalist, you are still going to have to pay land taxes.

Though, that type of self-sustaining life does sound a bit nice. Doesn’t it?

My point is, for the majority of us, we have to pay the bills! This mandatory task can become extremely stressful when you are living paycheck-to-paycheck.

How to Get One Month Ahead of Your Bills and Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck Continue Reading →

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A Shopaholic’s Guide to Becoming Debt Free – First Ever Book Club Party Announcement!

I have a fun idea for us to hang out!

What do you think about once a week, we get together, eat something super tasty, pretend like we don’t care how many calories we are devouring, and all the while we have some heavy (in a fun way!) girl talk going on!?

The chitchat will all be centered on a few chapters taken from the current book that we are obsessing over.

Doesn’t that sound super fun! I’m a lot excited about it! What a great way for us to better get to know each other?

Our first book is THE PERFECT read for someone who needs a heavy dose of shopaholic’s anonymous! It’s for someone whose desire to spend is borderline addiction.

You need to break the pattern of endless online shopping and figure out how to pay off debt quickly so you can get your financial freedom back! Fresh air! Actionable steps you can take today to get out debt and take back control of your spending! Continue Reading →