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Source: goodfinancialcents.com

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Have you always dreamed of owning your own home? It’s not an uncommon goal. But one of the greatest challenges is saving up enough for a down payment.

Does this mean you’ll have to wait several years to buy a home? Not quite. Read on to discover the best ways to save up for a down payment.

How to Save for Down Payment on a House

Before you begin saving for a down payment on a house, you need to know how much house you can afford. There are several things you will need to plan for. Your monthly mortgage payment will include the following:

  • Mortgage principal and interest
  • Real estate taxes
  • Private mortgage insurance (PMI)
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Homeowners’ Association (HOA) fees, if any.

You will also have closing costs and possibly moving expenses.

Furthermore, remember that for a conventional mortgage, you’ll typically need to save up to 20% of a home’s purchase price for a down payment. That means you’ll likely need to come up with tens of thousands of dollars.

1. Make a Plan

Making a plan can be helpful in saving money, even if you are unsure of where the funds will come from. It allows you to set a timeline for reaching your savings goals and helps to keep you motivated. Additionally, having a plan can help you track your progress and make measurable progress towards your financial goals.

To illustrate, if you need to save $6,000 in 12 months for a down payment, you must find a way to come up with $500 each month.

Some may be able to do this by cutting a few expenses. Others may have to get creative and find other ways to earn money. Either way, breaking it down into small chunks makes meeting the goal a lot more workable.

So, start by figuring out how much you need, come up with a plan, and execute. And remember that discipline is a must. If you have the right mindset and commit to the plan, you’ll be closing on your new home in no time.

Check Out Our Top Picks for 2024:

Best Mortgage Lenders

2. Prepare for the Unexpected

Life happens, and sometimes those unexpected occurrences can wreak havoc on your finances. This makes it near impossible to achieve your savings goals. But you can cut the chances of this happening by creating a safety net before you start saving for a down payment. That way, your dreams of buying a home won’t crash and burn if a financial emergency comes up.

3. Pay Yourself First

Have you ever tried saving money at the end of the month only to have your plans go up in smoke? It usually goes a little something like this: you make a budget for the month and vow to follow it line by line. And whatever is remains at the end of the month gets deposited into your savings, CD, or money market account.

Sounds good, but that’s not typically how it goes. A more realistic chain of events: you create a budget and all is well until life happens. By the end of the month, your wallet is empty and you’re awaiting the next paycheck.

We’re talking about saving up thousands of dollars for a down payment fund. For this reason, you want to save money at the beginning of the month or pay yourself first. This ensures a busted budget doesn’t get in the way of saving up for a down-payment on a home.

4. Start a Side Hustle

Starting a side hustle can be a great way to earn extra money and save for a down payment on a house. If you have a particular skill or talent, you may be able to offer your services as a freelancer or independent contractor. This could include writing, design, photography, or any other service that you have experience in and can offer to others.

You might also consider starting a small business on the side, such as selling handmade crafts or offering a service like pet sitting or tutoring. This allows you to diversify your income streams and potentially increase your overall earning potential.

5. Make It Fun

Did you discover a brand-new savings challenge at the beginning of the year? You don’t have to wait until the new year to partake in the fun. Put a savings challenge in place now to help accomplish your goal. A few ideas:

  • Gather a group of friends to join in as you embark on the challenge. You can come up with some sort of small incentive to award the person who reaches their target goal the fastest. Even if you don’t win, having that sort of accountability will help reach your goals faster.
  • Keep the change. You won’t get very far saving coins from transactions. But committing to saving every $1 or $5 bill could be effective. (This approach is most effective when you only use cash for everyday transactions).
  • Commit to no-spend days. Pick one day of the week to not spend a single dollar (unless it’s an emergency).
  • Rotating spending category months.
  • Use financial windfalls wisely. If you receive an unexpected financial gift or a lump sum of cash, put it in your down payment savings account.
  • Participate in a 52-week challenge with weekly increases. You don’t have to wait until the first of the year to get started. Start on your next payday and stretch it out for an entire year.

6. Look at Your Budget

When was the last time you took a close look at your budget? If it’s been a while, you may be wasting money on items or services that are no longer needed or beneficial to you. Or you can stand to reduce some expenses and reach your savings goal faster. Some tips to cut costs:

  • Bundle cable, internet, and phone services or cut them altogether.
  • Request a free energy-audit to identify problem areas in your home.
  • Increase the deductible on your insurance policies to decrease premiums.
  • Create weekly meal plans to decrease grocery expenditures.
  • Ditch eating out for home cooked meals.
  • Use coupons and shop for bargains.
  • Avoid impulse spending.
  • Downgrade your cell phone or opt-in for a low-cost prepaid plan.

7. Get a Roommate

Having a roommate can be a great way to reduce your living expenses and free up more money to put towards a down payment on a house. By sharing the cost of rent and other expenses, you can significantly reduce your monthly expenses and save more money each month.

Additionally, if you are able to find a roommate who is willing to pay more than their share of the expenses, you may be able to increase your overall income and save even more.

8. Boost Your Income

Worried about stretching yourself too thin from your savings plan? Explore other ways to boost your income, so your efforts won’t interfere with your budget. Some ways to pull this off:

  • Work overtime to earn some extra cash.
  • Ask for a raise if it’s been awhile and your latest evaluation was stellar.
  • Get a part-time job and work when you have spare time.
  • Find odd jobs on Craigslist.

9. Sell Your Unwanted Stuff

Selling items that you no longer use or need can be a good way to raise extra money to put towards a down payment on a house. Here are a few ideas for items that you might consider selling:

  1. Clothing and accessories: Do you have clothes, shoes, or accessories that you no longer wear or that no longer fit?
  2. Home decor and furniture: Do you have furniture or home decor items that you no longer need or that no longer fit your style?
  3. Electronics: Are there any electronic devices that you no longer use or need, such as an outdated phone or laptop?
  4. Books, CDs, and DVDs: Do you have a collection of books, CDs, or DVDs that you no longer want or need?
  5. Collectibles and antiques: Do you have collectibles or antiques that you no longer want or that you think may be worth a lot of money?

Consider selling these items through an online consignment shop or online marketplace like eBay or Craigslist.

10. Refinance Existing Loans

Are you paying too much in interest for your current debt obligations? The only way to find out is by reaching out to your lenders to determine if you’re eligible for lower interest rates.

If not, consider refinancing your loans, especially student loans, to lower the monthly payment and free up funds to go towards your down payment. (Keep in mind that extending the loan term could mean more interest paid over the life of the mortgage loan unless the new interest rate is lower).

11. Consolidate Your Debt

What about credit card debt with exorbitant APRs that are costing you a fortune? Explore debt consolidation options to determine if you qualify for a loan with a competitive rate. By going this route, you could shave hundreds off your monthly expenses, and pay off the credit cards much faster while saving for a down payment on a house.

12. Automate Savings

One simple way to boost your savings is by setting up an automatic deposit from your paycheck. By transferring a predetermined amount from your checking account into a high-yield savings account on a regular basis, you can watch your savings grow over time. This way, you don’t have to actively remember to transfer the funds yourself.

13. Explore First-Time Home Buyer Programs

If you are a first-time home buyer working towards the goal of homeownership, it can be helpful to research first-time home buyer programs that may be available to you. These programs may offer assistance with a down payment or low down payment options.

Some examples include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s down payment assistance programs, VA loans, USDA loans, and FHA loans.

By considering these options, you may be able to significantly reduce the amount of money you need for a down payment on a home. It’s worth taking the time to research and see what kind of help may be available to you based on your personal financial situation.

14. Save on Transportation

Consider switching to cheaper forms of transportation, such as biking or public transit, if you live within a reasonable distance from your workplace. This will this save you money on gas and parking fees. It can also improve your physical fitness if you choose to ride a bike.

If you live in an urban area, using the subway or bus as an alternative to driving can also help reduce air pollution and traffic congestion, benefiting both your personal well-being and the environment.

15. Save Money on Your Purchases

There are several ways to save money while shopping, both online and in-store. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Use online browser extensions like Honey or Rakuten to find and apply coupon codes automatically at checkout. These extensions can also alert you to price drops and help you find the best deals.
  2. Look for sales and clearance items, and consider buying in bulk when it makes sense.
  3. Compare prices across different retailers before making a purchase. Websites like PriceGrabber and CamelCamelCamel can help you find the best prices online.
  4. Use cashback credit cards or apps like Ibotta and Dosh to earn money back on your purchases.
  5. When shopping for groceries, try to plan your meals in advance and make a list of the items you need to purchase. This can help you avoid buying unnecessary items and sticking to a budget.
  6. Consider buying generic or store-brand products, which can often be just as good as name-brand items but at a lower price.
  7. Look for deals and discounts, such as buy-one-get-one-free offers or discounts for purchasing a certain number of items.
  8. Use coupons and take advantage of loyalty programs if the store offers them.
  9. Consider purchasing items that are in-season, as they are often cheaper than out-of-season items.
  10. Shop at discount stores or warehouse clubs such as Costco or Sam’s. They often offer lower prices on a wide range of products.

Bottom Line

While it may be intimidating to save for a down payment, you can pull it off if you have a solid plan. It may take a bit longer than you’d like, but the benefits of homeownership will make your efforts worthwhile.

Source: crediful.com

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In a market where every dollar matters, revenue retention areas like quality control and compliance are more critical than ever. Thus, keeping abreast of regulatory and investor updates and trends is vital to maintaining loan quality and compliance. Trevor Gauthier, chief executive officer at ACES Quality Management provides us with an update on the latest in QC and compliance.

HousingWire: Revenue retention is undoubtedly at the top of lenders’ concerns in the current market, and quality control plays a critical role in that effort. How are lenders managing loan quality these days?

Trevor Gauthier: Overall, lenders are managing loan quality quite well. While our quarterly Mortgage QC Trends Report did observe two quarters of extremely high, if not historic, critical defects, those occurred in mid- to late 2022 as the industry was dealing with the operational fallout from the market downturn. Once lenders moved past that period of volatility, the overall critical defect rate began trending downward and has continued to do so over the past five quarters. In fact, the critical defect rate for the fourth quarter of 2023 was 1.53%, which ranks amongst the lowest rates we’ve observed since the report’s inception in 2016.

We were fortunate enough to have Duane Gilkison, senior director of loan quality at Fannie Mae, present during our recent ACES ENGAGE conference in Tucson, and our findings seem to be in line with the downward trend in both initial and final defect rates Fannie Mae has observed in the 2023 loan acquisitions from its seller/servicers.

HW: Speaking of Fannie Mae, how are lenders responding to the QC policy updates Fannie issued late last year?

TG: Of all the QC-related updates to the Fannie Mae Selling Guide, the most significant for lenders were the mandatory 10% pre-funding sample review and the truncated timeline for post-closing selection, review, rebuttal and reporting. As Duane noted during his presentation, Fannie’s goal in all of these changes was to enable lenders to identify and remediate defects sooner, and with the advancements in QC auditing software, the team at Fannie felt lenders now had the tools and automation necessary to make that happen.

From our clients’ perspective, many felt that the writing was on the wall, so to speak, in terms of Fannie Mae’s expectations. The most significant issue we heard from clients was the timing of the change. With the market downturn, lenders shrank their operational staff across the board, and QC certainly wasn’t exempt from those cuts. Anytime you’re asked to do more with less, it’s going to create some level of strain, but I think for those that already had technology like ACES in place to automate QC sampling, reviews and reporting, the change was less of a burden than it might otherwise have been

HW: QC and compliance often go hand in hand. What are some of the current compliance issues/trends that could impact loan quality?

TG: One of the cases that our compliance team is watching closely is CFPB v. Townstone Financial, which addresses whether ECOA applies to redlining and other pre-application activity. This case is one of many that exemplifies the broad interpretations of existing rules and regulations the CFPB is using to cite lenders for non-compliance.

We’ve also seen the CFPB take an extraordinarily broad view of what can satisfy the “Abusive” prong of UDAAP via a proposed rule prohibiting charging non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees for declined payment transactions at point-of-sale. While this proposed rule doesn’t apply to mortgage lending specifically, it offers a glimpse into the CFPB’s current thought process and, therefore, is something lenders should pay close attention to moving forward.

Of course, “junk fees” is the latest buzzword out of the CFPB, and the Bureau seems to be taking particular aim at some of the fees charged by mortgage servicers and now lenders. The Bureau recently highlighted 10 specific compliance issues related to mortgage servicing in its Supervisory Highlights, Issue 33 (Spring 2024), four of which involved what it deemed as improper charging of fees. But most recently, the Bureau announced a Request for Information (RFI) into “Junk Fees in Mortgage Closing Costs.”

These are just a few of the compliance trends we’re tracking. For those interested in a deeper dive into these topics and others, like Fair Lending, I’d encourage you to watch the latest installment of our QC Now webinar series with our EVP of Compliance Amanda Phillips and Ballard Spahr Partner Richard Andreano.

Given the current landscape, what resources are available to lenders to better manage loan quality and ensure compliance?

TG: Fannie Mae offers numerous training and education resources to help lenders improve loan quality, which lenders can find online through its Loan Quality Learning Center. In addition, I’d also direct lenders to Fannie’s Beyond the Guide and Quality Insider publications, which feature a ton of insight, findings and best practices. Even though we have a vested interest in this area, ACES has always been committed to supporting all lenders – not just our customers – in their efforts to improve loan quality and mitigate risk and compliance issues. The Resources section on our website provides a wealth of free resources, including links to our quarterly Mortgage QC Industry Trends Report, on-demand webinar library and Compliance NewsHub.

Trevor Gauthier is the chief executive officer at ACES Quality Management.

Source: housingwire.com

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Servicing Interface, Inspection Tools; Newfi/Dunmor Alliance; Does Yield Curve Inversion Matter?

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Servicing Interface, Inspection Tools; Newfi/Dunmor Alliance; Does Yield Curve Inversion Matter?

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Tue, Jun 4 2024, 8:18 AM

“Hey Rob, thank you for continuing to highlight the insurance issues we’re having, like in yesterday’s commentary. Insurance companies are monitoring homes from the sky, and homeowners across the country have had their coverage ended due to aerial monitoring using drones, airplanes, and satellites. While we’re on “tech,” have you heard of ‘ActivTrak’?” Yup. It figures out your employee’s productivity and engagement by watching mouse & keyboard movements. Of course, there is software that simulates mouse movements that employees can purchase or download. It all turns into a game of cat and mouse!

How long will it be until A.I. is capable of writing its own code, much faster and better than humans? Hey, I don’t need or want IT people writing like me, or sending my Commentary out when it isn’t me doing it, or faking politicians’ speeches, just because they can. I’d rather have computer scientists focused on… making it simpler to change my car clock when the time changes. Likewise, I don’t need biologists bringing back mammoths or dinosaurs, just because they can.

But here’s something cool: the first tooth re-growing drug has begun tests. No more dentures?! Just in time for the Baby Boomers to need them. 

Employment, transitions, & another industry vet’s retirement

“Mega Capital continues to expand across the country by adding AEs along with operation staff to support the growth of the organization. In recent months we have rolled out our new broker platform mPOWERs to help with ease of use for the broker. We have added improvements to our Non QM platform with MGenius getting an upgrade to help assist brokers with their NON QM needs. On top of our great rates for conventional and government loas, we continue to improve our NON QM offerings. 3-month bank statement program, Assets utilization, and a refi with essentially a mortgage only rating needed. Our latest offering is our MVP program- $3M Loan amounts, FICO down to 660, 40 yr. I/O’s, transferred appraisals accepted, P&L with no bank statements required, 1099 program No tax return needed and the list goes on. Please contact your local AE or Mega Capital at 818 657 2600 to partner with us. Always looking for great talent to join the team. We are always looking to add sales talent, all AE’s especially those with the NON QM background, please reach out to Ed Darrow at 818 657 2600 x340.”

Dovenmuehle Mortgage, Inc. announced two promotions within its business development team: Anna Krogh to Senior Vice President and Director of Business Development and Chris Torres to Vice President of Business Development and Manager of the Western Region.

Out of Houston comes news that Nations Reliable Lending (NRL Mortgage) has appointed Steven Curtis as its new Chief Production Officer. “Curtis brings a wealth of expertise and a proven track record to his role, positioning NRL Mortgage for continued success and growth.”

On June 21 another vet is exiting our biz: The Northwest’s Glacier Bank’s head of servicing Bob Hamilton. “My first job in banking began at the young age of 18 years old working in the mailroom of Columbia Savings and Loan in Denver, the city I grew up in and I have worked in some capacity of mortgage banking, mainly in the trenches of loan servicing ever since. Almost 40 years later, with more than 30 years as a professional servicing leader, I am delighted to share that I am retiring to pursue more creative and challenging endeavors…”


Software, products, and services for lenders and brokers

When you are truly valued as a client, then you expect your subservicer to respond timely and efficiently to resolve any issues you may have. After all, that is not only what you pay them to do, but what a subservicer who values the relationship and comports themselves as a true partner should be doing. That is why at Servbank we provide you as a client, a 24/7/365 single dedicated point of contact to respond to and timely resolve any issues you may have. We know that if it’s important to you then it needs to be important to us. Our responsive and highly skilled client relations staff resolve 55% of all client requests in 24 hours and 76% in 2 business days. That level of client service is not only the best in class, but also the level of service that you deserve. If your current subservicer isn’t treating you like a valued client, then it’s time to be heard… and partner with Servbank. Partner with Servbank.

For independent mortgage banks coping with rising costs per loan, outsourcing accounting is an elegant solution to what’s become a very common challenge. Whether you have no accounting expertise in-house or you have a new team with no mortgage experience, you can tap the Richey May Client Accounting and Advisory Services (CAAS) team for the support you need. This team is stacked with mortgage industry experts who can tailor your solution to meet your most pressing needs with no training needed. Need help transitioning to loan level accounting? Need a fully outsourced function? You got it! Need industry training for your controller? We can do that. In this article, Richey May’s expert Kim Dittmer answers all your most frequently asked questions about outsourced accounting as a mortgage bank.

Get quick and precise property insight with VerisiteX from Xactus. Ideal for HELOCs, Portfolio Monitoring, Disaster Inspections, Renovation and New Construction Draws, it offers a mobile property inspection and enhanced AVM to help with decisioning where a full appraisal is not required. Utilize the VerisiteX Photo Report and Collateral Data Report together for interior and exterior photos, property uploads, and historical data review. The Collateral Data Report condenses MLS and public record data, valuations, property details, risk summaries, and foreclosure information into one document. Xactus also provides Appraisal FirewallX, appraisal management software, and Appraisal ScorecardX, appraisal review technology, for fast, accurate appraisals and real-time property insights, allowing you to automate your appraisal process. Learn more at [email protected] or request a showcase today. Don’t forget to follow Xactus on LinkedIn.

ICE is making servicing simple by embracing the three ‘Cs’: Conversational, curated interactions that are context aware. That philosophy is embodied in ICE’s new chat-based servicing interface, which allows users to interact with their servicing system in plain business language without relying on obscure acronyms, codes, or specialized syntax. The result is easy-to-use technology that anticipates what users are trying to do, what resources they need to accomplish a task and what they’ll need to focus on next. Read ICE’s latest blog to learn how this new technology, driven by the three ‘Cs’, can help servicing teams streamline work processes, reach desired outcomes faster, and provide a more consistent experience to customers.

Does it feel like your current point-of-sale vendor has lost focus on mortgage? As a mortgage-specialized partner, Maxwell is committed to giving lenders a competitive advantage in a changing mortgage market. With Maxwell Point of Sale, lenders can tailor workflows to fit the unique needs of their organization, so back-end teams can work quickly without costly interruptions. Compared to a top competitor, Maxwell Point of Sale averages a 5.9% higher pull-through rate from rate-lock to close. For the average lender using Maxwell POS, this equates to $42MM in additional loan volume. Schedule a call with the team to learn how Maxwell Point of Sale can start working for you, your borrowers, and your lending team quickly.

Strategic alliances are alive and well

Newfi Lending, an industry-leading lender specializing in innovative, non-agency mortgage solutions, announced a transaction with Dunmor, a leading provider of bridge, fix and flip, and ground-up construction loans for real estate developers and investors (“Residential Transition Loans”). “Newfi will provide an initial financing facility to expand Dunmor’s origination capacity and further equip them to capture the growing market opportunity within the RTL sector. The transaction also includes a number of milestones structured to align and strengthen the Newfi-Dunmor relationship over time.” Dunmor provides short-term bridge loans, fix and flip loans, and construction loans for residential and multifamily investment properties. Dunmor works directly with borrowers and brokers. Newfi is a multi-channel lender that is “setting the standard for efficiency, transparency, and service in the mortgage marketplace.”


Capital Markets: does the shape of the yield curve matter?

Given the amount of equity in the U.S, second mortgages and HELOCs are all the rage. Fitch Ratings has completed a review of 23 U.S. residential mortgage-backed security (RMBS) HELOC, Closed-End Seconds, and Seasoned Second Lien Transactions issued within the last five years. The overall performance of the sector has been mixed, though generally has improved since the last rating actions. On 489 classes across 23 deals, Fitch ratings upgraded 108 classes and affirmed 381 classes. The Rating Outlooks for these classes include 155 Positive Outlooks and 334 Stable Outlooks. The deals in the review also benefit from the support provided by the ability for excess spread to be used to reimburse realized losses and coupon shortfalls. The steady build-up of credit enhancement for deals over the past six to 12 months is one of the most significant drivers for classes with proposed upgrades. Credit enhancement for upgraded classes has grown on average by 210 basis points over the past six months.

Remember when “the experts” were predicting a recession based on the inversion of the yield curve two years ago? Recessions lead to lower rates. How’d that work out? Treasury yields have now been inverted for the longest stretch on record, with the spread between the 2-year and 10-year Treasury underwater for close to two years. Back then it had everyone worrying about a troubling recession. Many of those experts have ceased predicting a recession lately as the U.S. economy continues to expand, unemployment remains low, and a “soft landing” increasingly looks like it will be in the cards. Is an inverted yield curve, which has predicted practically every recession over the past 50 years, faulty or broken?

First, the “yield curve” is a graph. Along the X axis is the maturity of securities (1 year, 2 years, all the way up to 30 years) and along the Y axis are the yields (rates). Yield curves typically slope upward, meaning that the yields on longer maturity securities are more than shorter term securities. So, when short-term yields return more than longer-dated ones, it suggests there is reason to worry about the long-term economic outlook. It can also signal that the high levels of short-term yields are unlikely to be sustained as growth slows, which can have an impact on a range of asset prices. Investors usually factor in Fed rate cuts under those dynamics, with easing expectations signaling the potential for a faltering economy.

While some think the yield curve is no longer a reliable indicator, others point out its stark accuracy. The second-to-last time the yield curve inverted was in August 2019, which happened ahead of the pandemic-induced recession, and the 2y10y inverted again in March 2022, just before a technical recession emerged in the second quarter of that year. Any decision on a formal recession is left up to NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Committee, which has been responsible for setting the dates of peaks and troughs of the U.S. economy since 1978. But since a recession was never formally declared, the NBER has kept investors, the Fed, and lenders waiting for another one to happen.

Who got it right? The Fed’s infamous “transitory” call on inflation, a stock rally that has confounded Wall Street, and most recently expectations for rate cuts are all among recent predictions that have led many investors and lenders hoping for lower rates astray in the last few years. Economists and mainstream analysts have to check their report cards, and recession talk might be the next failed projection. Unemployment continues to be low, home prices are doing okay, and the consumer continues to spend, albeit using credit cards.

It’s always been referred to as a “fabled soft-landing,” and maybe for good reason. Treasury yields fell yesterday as the ISM Manufacturing Index for May showed a deepening contraction in the domestic manufacturing sector, stoking concerns of a recession in the U.S. The report is yet another data point showing that the domestic economy is slowing, though the Fed probably won’t consider easing until more slowing is reflected in the employment data.

Today’s calendar kicks off later this morning with Redbook same store sales for the week ending June 1, and will be followed by April factory orders, JOLTS job openings, and a couple of short-duration Treasury auctions. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices little changed from Monday’s close, the 10-year yielding 4.38 after closing yesterday at 4.40 percent, and the 2-year at 4.79.

Once upon a time in a village, a man appeared and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each.

The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them.

The man bought thousands at $10 and as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort. He further announced that he would now buy at $20. This renewed the efforts of the villagers, and they started catching monkeys again.

Soon the supply diminished even further, and people started going back to their farms. The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch it!

The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now buy on behalf of him.

In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers; “Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each.”

The villagers rounded up with all their savings and bought all the monkeys.

They never saw the man nor his assistant, only monkeys everywhere!

Now you have a better understanding of how the cryptocurrency market works.

 Download our mobile app to get alerts for Rob Chrisman’s Commentary.

Source: mortgagenewsdaily.com

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Inside: In this guide, I reviewed all of the budget apps and compared features and costs to form the best budgeting apps list. Find the best budgeting apps to fit your needs.

The best way to become smart with your money is to actively manage your money.

Make a plan for your money. Some may call it a budget.

At Money Bliss, we like to call it a Cents Plan. This enables you to find financial freedom. Find that place Where Cents Parallel Vision. Today, there are many budgeting apps on the market.

To kick off the new year, I was determined to find the best budgeting app on the market. Guess what?

My list grew each week!! And still growing! There are so many choices.

There are money management apps. Personal finance apps. Budgeting apps. So many apps to choose from! Seriously.

Some are free budgeting apps. Others have a monthly fee. Some have one-time costs.

The key to any budgeting app (free or paid) is to learn to manage your money.

At the very bottom of the post, we will reveal the best budgeting apps available.

This post may contain affiliate links, which helps us to continue providing relevant content and we receive a small commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read the full disclosure here.

Enjoy guilt-free spending and effortless saving with a friendly, flexible method for managing your finances.

Start Your Free Trial.

What is a Budgeting App?

A budgeting app is a tool that helps you manage your money and keep track of how much you spend.

There are many different types of apps, and some may be free while others cost money.

However, they all make managing your finances easy by tracking where your money goes each month as well as providing tools for saving cash flow or spending more efficiently on things like groceries or travel expenses.

The end purpose of a budgeting app is to make managing your money easy.

There are many apps out there that can help you with this, including some from big brand names like Mint which just announced it is shutting down, Acorns, and Quicken. This guide will provide a list of the best budgeting apps for 2024 so you can save time and money!

Quick Answer

The preferred budget apps are YNAB, Empower, and Quicken.

What to Look for in Budgeting Apps

In order to find the best budgeting apps, you need to know what features and functions you are looking for.

The best budgeting apps are often the simplest and focus on ways to make saving a breeze.

They can help ease financial uncertainty by providing tools that allow users to save more money over time.

What’s more, how can you tell what to look for in a good budgeting app?

1. Ease of use

The best budgeting apps are easy to use and do not require manual entry. Different ways of creating a budget include handwriting it out, using a spreadsheet, or logging into an app or software program.

You want to find something that is easy for you to use. Even better, if you find the app fun to use!

2. Budgeting Capabilities

There are many types of budgeting apps; thus, each person will have budget apps they prefer over others. At the end of the day, you need something that will work for you over the long term.

Some have basic features that simply allow users to view their own spending, while others provide a number of tools for managing finances and saving money. Users should choose an app based on what they want as well as the capabilities it offers.

Many budget apps let you define your categories to track.

3. Saves Time

When you have an automatic budgeting app, it tracks how money moves in and out of your bank account automatically with ease. In addition to this, the updating process takes place automatically as well which saves more time for individuals who need it most!

Saving time with the least favorite tasks like budgeting is a win-win!

You want your budgeting app that makes managing your money a breeze.

4. Focus on Financial Goals

You need a budget app that helps you work towards your smart financial goals. This is important.

You want your budgeting app to help you with achieving your financial goals.

5. Synchronization

Synchronization is the process of returning data to a master database from one or more secondary databases. You want the budget app to synchronize accounts automatically.

Most offer automatic synchronization but may lack a feature that allows for a reconciliation of accounts such as bank accounts.

Many budgeting apps can synchronize from desktop to mobile. In addition, you can have multiple users on the same platform.

6. Price

Budgeting apps range in price from free to about $150 per year.

The app that has the most features and options is Quicken, especially given its price point.

Spending $5 a month to manage your finances is cheaper than overdraft fees and the lack of saving money.

7. App ratings

Many financial experts and personal finance gurus agree that a budget is necessary to take control of your money.

Look for budgeting apps that have at least 1,000 reviews in both the App Store (for iOS) and on Google Play (for Android), as well as a rating of 4 stars (out of 5) or higher on both platforms.

That will tell you the longevity of the app and user appeal.

8. Security

Specifically, are budgeting apps secure? Are there any security features in place to protect your data? This is a huge feature you need to verify your personal information will be intact.

On my budgeting apps, financial information is safe because they need to go through vigorous testing and pass banking regulations. There are certain vulnerabilities inherent to operating online in the cloud.

9. Additional Features

Most budgeting apps go beyond basic budgeting. Some offer advice on debt and investments, while others identify unnecessary expenses.

Most apps can track your spending and organize your expenses into categories.

The savings apps will automate savings, suggestions to save money, bill alerts, access to credit scores, and investing features.

All of the apps have a different feature set, so it’s important to find what you’re looking for.

Good Budgeting Apps will Help, But First – You Must

Before we dig into the list of good budgeting apps, we must discuss key points first.

In order to be successful, with any type of budget app, you must understand three key areas.

1. Uncover your Money Situation

You can’t hide under the sheets or with your head in the sand and expect changes.

To be successful with money, you must be active with your personal finance situation.

Take time to understand your vision. Figure out where you stand in building a foundation to the Money Bliss Steps to Financial Freedom. Understand where the pits of money are spent every month.

Not sure, where to start? Stick around here at Money Bliss; we have many resources to help you!

Must Read Help:

2. Budgeting Apps Won’t Change Habits

While personal finance or money management apps keep you on track, they are incapable of changing habits.

You have to make changes.

Just because the budget app tracks your usage on the credit card doesn’t mean that you should have spent that money. So, be willing to make changes in your spending habits and those emotional purchases to achieve financial freedom.

You must learn to manage your money.

Related Readings:

3. Still Need Paper & Pen

The first thought is “Wait, I wanted to get away from paper and pen.” Yes, that is the goal for most individuals.

However, it is key to know your net worth over time.

Also, you never know when your favorite budget app will go away. (Ugh!) Personally, I don’t like to be pessimistic, but technology is rapidly changing, and being able to adapt is key.

Keep tracking your personal finance numbers toward financial freedom in a separate place.

Okay without further ado, the full list of budgeting apps on the market.

YNAB

Enjoy guilt-free spending and effortless saving with a friendly, flexible method for managing your finances. 

Pros:

  • Comprehensive approach to budgeting, helping you plan monthly budgets based on your income.
  • Offers expert advice, making it suitable for those who require an in-depth, forward-thinking budgeting strategy.
  • Superior synchronization skills make it the winner in this area.
  • YNAB has extra features like goal setting for budgeting, shared budgeting tools for partners.
  • Option to manually add and upload transactions from accounts each month.
  • YNAB prioritizes user privacy.

Start 34 Day Free Trial

Full List of Budgeting Apps with Free Trial

The budget apps we selected for this section offer a free trial for users to test out before signing up.

Budget apps are typically inexpensive and start with a free trial.

1. YNAB (You Need a Budget) – A proven method that has helped hundreds of thousands of people break the paycheck to paycheck cycle, get out of debt, and live the life they want to live. YNAB is best for serious budgeters.

2. Simplifi – Manage your money less in 5 minutes each week. Reach your money goals with confidence! Introducing Simplifi by Quicken, the personal finance app that gives you something to look forward to.

3. Tiller Money – Your financial life is in a spreadsheet, automatically updated each day. Track all your accounts in one place, always know where your money goes, and confidently plan your financial future.

4. Rocket Money – Rocket Money is your automated financial assistant and budget tracker designed to put you back in control of your money. Truebill lets you easily track bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions, and proactively request refunds on your behalf, putting real money back in your pocket!

5. Qube Money – The cash envelope system made easy. They invented digital cash envelopes. Real-time financial awareness without the hassle of tracking expenses, updating spreadsheets, and carrying cash.

6. HoneyMoney– HoneyMoney increases your awareness about your money habits.
Being fully aware of your money naturally changes how you spend it. Great way to use cash flow budgeting. Plus uses “envelopes” to budget.

7. Qapital – Free, easy way to save money.  Get $5 for your first Goal if you sign up here.

8. Money Patrol – MoneyPatrol actively monitors and analyzes financial transactions, and then alerts insights about the trends, patterns, and anomalies observed.

9. Wallet– Wallet is designed to help you get your finances under control from day one, giving you ongoing insight into your financial situation, and helping you stay in control for the long term.

10. Every Dollar– EveryDollar follows the zero-based budget approach recommended by Dave Ramsey, a top personal money-management expert. Create daily and monthly budgets and track your expenses to manage and save money.

11. Expensify – Expensify is the perfect tool for anyone who needs to keep track of receipts and automate expense management.

12. Cost Track – Expense Tracker – Cost Track allows you to: use your money wisely, keep track of your personal and family budget, and quickly enter your income and expenses.

13. Easy Spending – It is a simple and convenient finance tracker that provides the most powerful and convenient daily money management for iPhone and iPad, that neatly tracks all your cash flow between different accounts that you can budget.

Making Your Budget Work for You:

Full List of Free Budgeting Apps

The budget apps we selected for this ranking are completely free! Free budget apps are good options for users who don’t want to pay monthly or a yearly fee. Just to note, the list of free apps is dwindling with each update.

Finding the best budgeting app the best ones do simple things well.

Free apps are not always better than paid ones.

Typically, the free versions of budget apps provide basic features. Plus there are many free budget apps available on the market.

1. Empower  Empower is the best app for investors. This is one of my favorite ways to analyze investment accounts. See all of your accounts in one place, which helps to see spending. Free budgeting app to use. Read my Empower Review.

Empower Personal Wealth, LLC (“EPW”) compensates Money Bliss  for new leads. Money Bliss  is not an investment client of Personal Capital Advisors Corporation or Empower Advisory Group, LLC.

2. PocketSmith – Manage your budget and forecast your finances. There are paid levels of access but you can still get basic options for the casual budgeter.

3. Zeta – AskZeta is a financial planning platform designed to help couples manage their finances collaboratively. It provides tools and guidance for setting joint financial goals, budgeting, and navigating major life events to build a secure financial future together.

4. Honeydue – A financial app designed for couples, facilitating shared money management. It allows partners to track and manage their finances collaboratively, providing insights into spending, budgeting and shared financial goals.

5. GoodBudget – Envelope budgeting for the modern world.

6. Fudget – The budget planner you can actually use.

7. Wally – Personal Finance –  It helps you compare your income to your expenses, understand where your money goes and set and achieve goals.

9. CountAbout – CountAbout is an online personal finance solution that surpasses the security and ease of use of the other popular commercial solutions on the market while offering complete privacy, zero advertising, and no selling of your personal data.

10. Daily Budget Original – Daily Budget calculation, planning & saving for big spending, basic categories for expenses, backup.

11. Spending Tracker – The simple fact is, by tracking your spending you will be able to stick to a budget and therefore SAVE MONEY.

12. Money Monitor – You can track and organize all your transactions, accounts, budgets, bills, cash flow, and payees in Money Monitor by easy operation but with powerful functions.

13. Money Box – Set your money goals and track your personal savings with this app. Take control of your saving goals and spend cash wisely.

14. Dollarbird– Track and forecast your money as easily as adding events to a calendar! Dollarbird helps you make sense of your financial situation, plan ahead and manage your money together with those who matter.

15. NerdWallet – Whether you want to maximize credit card rewards, earn extra cashback, track your credit score or make budgeting easier, it’s all here.

Budgeting Resources:

16. Buddy – Designed for simplicity and efficiency, helping users easily manage their finances. With intuitive features, it enables users to track expenses, set budget goals, and gain insights into their spending habits for better financial management.

17. Banktivity  – Banktivity puts you in the driver’s seat of your finances so you can do both.

18. PocketGuard – With all of your financial accounts in one place, PocketGuard helps you stay on top of your finance and make better financial decisions.

19. Budget Saved – Personal Finance – Budget Saved helps you save money by grouping expenses based on need or want. You input an expense, save it as a need or want, and then you can look back to see which purchases were really necessary. With this information, you can see exactly how much you can save.

20. Albert – Money Management – Combining human guidance with cutting-edge technology, Albert is an intuitive app that automates your financial life — so you can be free to enjoy it. Build savings, meet bills, end the overspending cycle and develop your financial IQ, right from the palm of your hand.

21. Expense IQ – Expense IQ (formerly EasyMoney) is your ultimate money manager app that combines an expense tracker, a budget planner, a checkbook register, integrated bills reminder, and more rolled into one powerful personal finance app!

22. Prism– Never miss a bill or pay late fees again! We automatically track your bills & send due date reminders, for free. See your income, account balances, & monthly expenses at a glance.

23. Coin Keeper– Download CoinKeeper​ — the handiest way to plan and manage your finances, created especially for smartphones and tablets.

24. Mobills– Mobills is a budget planning app that allows you to create a custom monthly budget that will help you take control of your money. You are able to manage your money, track your spending, and achieve your financial goals all in one place.

25. iSpending – iSpending helps you to track your income and spending. You can add transactions under different categories, such as income, food, and entertainment.

26. Receipt Box – The Receipt Box is a quick app that is conducive to developing a good habit of tracking spending. It indeed performs well on this one.

27. BUDGT – BUDGT will help you keep track of your Expenses in a very simple way and tell you how much money you can spend each day, taking in account what you have already spent during the current month.

Full List of Paid Budgeting Apps

A budgeting app is a type of software that helps you track your money to manage your finances. There are several different ways you can use them, including getting paid upfront or by monthly fee.

Some apps offer discounts for people who pay monthly, but this is not always the case. If an app doesn’t have the capabilities you need to better manage your budget, it’s not worth it.

App users want budget capabilities and prefer to handle bill paying on their own schedules.

1. Quicken– Quicken personal finance and money management software allows you to manage spending, create monthly budgets, track investments, retirement and more. Read my Quicken Review.

2. Moneyspire – The budget feature is very user friendly and can rollover amounts. All of the reports you need at your fingertips. Also, you can move your data from many of the top budgeting apps and Quicken.

3. PocketSmith – Manage your budget and forecast your finances.

4. MoneyDance – Moneydance is easy to use personal finance software that is loaded with all the features you need: online banking and bill payment, account management, budgeting and investment tracking.

5. CheckBook Pro – An easy & quick way to manage your daily finances, Checkbook Pro keeps track of your credit card charges, cash expenditures…etc.

6. HomeBudget – HomeBudget is an integrated expense tracker designed to help you track your expenses, income, bills due and account balances. It offers support for budgeting and allows analysis of your expenses and income, including charts and graphs.

7. Pennies – Keep track of your spending and save money with Pennies, the award-winning budgeting app for iPhone, iPad and Watch.

Enjoy guilt-free spending and effortless saving with a friendly, flexible method for managing your finances.

Start Your Free Trial.

Budgeting Apps Off the Cloud:

Due to security concerns, many budgeters prefer to keep their financial information off the cloud.

Here are the best budgeting software that are off the cloud. And if you want, they can be synced.

1. Quicken– Personally, I have used Quicken – pretty much since it was developed. Way before budgeting apps were even a thing and the cloud didn’t exist. Quicken is great for tracking how your money is being spent. Their internal budget feature is not user-friendly and has quirks. However, the cash flow reports are awesome to compare spending. The #1 reason I still recommend Quicken is because of its long history.

Read my Quicken Review.

2. Moneyspire – For those frustrated with Quicken, Moneyspire is your choice. The budget feature is very user-friendly and can rollover amounts. All of the reports you need are at your fingertips. Also, you can move your data from many of the top budgeting apps and Quicken. Start a free trial here.

3. Tiller Money – Tiller is the only tool that automatically updates Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel with your spending, transactions, and balances each day.

4. Banktivity – Get full control of your personal finance situation with Banktivity. Has all the bells and whistles you would come to expect for personal finance budgeting software. There is the ability to connect to the cloud if you prefer. Only for Mac Users.

5. MoneyDance – Moneydance is easy-to-use personal finance software that is loaded with all the features you need: online banking and bill payment, account management, budgeting, and investment tracking.

6. QuickBooks – QuickBooks is most like Quicken. It is the preferred software for most bookkeepers. The features are very helpful, but the price is significantly higher.

Expense-tracking budgeting apps

Expense-tracking budgeting apps are becoming more popular as they allow users to connect to financial accounts. They track transactions and group them into categories, making the best ones based on expense tracking systems.

Some of the top expense tracking budgeting apps include:

  1. Simplifi: Quicken has introduced a new personal finance management solution. It is simple, smart, and intuitive money tracker tool that ensures users can keep track of their income and expenses in real-time.
  2. YNAB (You Need A Budget): YNAB helps to reverse this pattern by living off last month’s income during current month.
  3. Pocket Expense: This app is easy to use and has a clear interface for users who are not tech savvy. With Pocket Expense, you can input your income and expenses, set a budget, and track your progress.
  4. Spendee – Understand your finances better with Spendee, the FREE budgeting app that tracks your spending, optimizes your budget, and helps you save money. This user-friendly app with good features for recording income and expenses as well as the ability to plan future budgets. It also lets you set goals and track progress.
  5. Quicken: Quicken is a personal finance software application that can be installed on Windows, Mac or Linux computers and allows users to organize financial information in order for them to make financial decisions.

Learn where to load your Cash App card.

Investment/retirement planning budgeting apps

Investment/retirement planning budgeting apps are becoming more popular with consumers as the retirement age is being pushed back.

These types of apps allow users to keep track of their investments and review performance, ensuring that they’re on track to retire at the desired time.

There are numbeous different investment portfolio management tools, but most are designed for average investors looking to make changes or work towards long-term goals. Many double as budgeting apps also enable tracking expenses alongside investments in order to ensure that you’re on track to reach your goal.

  1. Empower – read my Empower Review
  2. Quicken
  3. Betterment
  4. Wealthfront
  5. Stash

Apps to Help Save Extra Money:

Looking for easy ways to save extra money?? These budgeting apps will do just that.

1. Acorns: Invest Spare Change: This app rounds up any purchase made with a credit card to the nearest dollar and invests it in an exchange traded fund. They have four different investment portfolios from conservative, balanced, growth, and aggressive.

2. Tiller: This app automatically transfers money from any account you connect to it (like your checking or savings) into a fund of your choice every time you make a transaction.

3. Trim – Trim negotiates your cable, internet, phone and medical bills, finds and cancels unwanted subscriptions, can help you lower APRs and bank fees and more.

4. BillShark – Billshark is the easiest way to lower your bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions, and lock in the best rates for insurance.

Which Budgeting App is right for You?

Budgeting apps are becoming more popular as consumers try to make better financial planning decisions.

Budgeting apps help people with the ability to track spending, create budgets, and save money for retirement or other goals.

Budgeting apps must be paid for because they can be used across all devices and have a variety of features that can really help users save time and money.

As you can tell in this post, there are plenty of options to find your favorite budget apps.

Each of these apps can improve money management.

However, you must be able to make the changes necessary to stay within your means. That is up to you. Don’t try it and give up after a month. Stick with it. Show perseverance.

In the end, you will be happy you are stuck with using a good budgeting app.

Apps That Have Shut Down or Changed

These are budgeting app that have been on our list previously. But, when we recently updated the post, realized they are no longer offering the same services.

Mint: Personal Finance & Money – Mint is a free money management and financial tracker app that helps you get ahead and stay ahead. – Mint app shut down in 2024.

Firstly (formerly Honeyfi: Couples Finances) – The first app to help couples team up on everyday and long-term finances.

Opurtun (formerly Digit) – Digit analyzes your spending and automatically saves the perfect amount every day, so you don’t have to think about it.

mvelopes (merged with EveryDollar) – Everyone knows that cash will keep you on budget. Here is a digital option for your cash envelopes. Your first month free is to check out the budgeting system.

Olivia– Whether you identify as someone who is living paycheck to paycheck, or you’d just like to get smarter with your money in general, you’ve come to the right place! I am here to help YOU become the MASTER of your money.

Your Money Wallet – YourMoneyWallet lets you see all your accounts in one place, understand your spending, monitor your everyday spending, and see all your money transactions in a beautiful well crafted design.free

Joy – Money App– Joy is the brand new money app that will change the way you spend and save money to help you find more happiness in your life.

Advent – Budgeting Made Simple – Advent makes budgeting and tracking expenses super easy! With a very minimalistic design, you can easily maneuver around quickly.

Rolling Budget– Rolling Budget is a personal finance tracker that keeps track of your day-to-day expenses, travel, and fuel costs. Track where your money goes, plan your expenses, and create a budget that works for you!

Best Budgeting Apps

There are many apps available to help people manage their budgets.

The best app for you will depend on the type of budget you want to create and how often you want to make changes. All of these apps are mobile-friendly and work across multiple devices. They also offer additional features like budgeting tasks, reminders, and spending plans.

You can find all of these for iPhone or Android.

You can save time and money by using a good budgeting app.

This is your personal finance journey.

The ultimate goal with any budget app is to learn to manage your money. Not have your money manage you.

Now, make sure you are doing these habits to be successful with budgeting.

Which are your favorite budgeting apps?

Keep on Budgeting:

Know someone else that needs this, too? Then, please share!!

Did the post resonate with you?

More importantly, did I answer the questions you have about this topic? Let me know in the comments if I can help in some other way!

Your comments are not just welcomed; they’re an integral part of our community. Let’s continue the conversation and explore how these ideas align with your journey towards Money Bliss.

Source: moneybliss.org

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Welcome to the 30 Day Money Challenge!

Today, you will learn how to make your money work for you. You don’t have to be a millionaire before knowing these things, but it’s important for everyone who wants financial stability.

Remember these keywords: saving and investing? This is where they come into play for long term success.

It’s not too late to make the right financial decisions.

But, finances are complicated and intimidating for most people so it can be hard to get started.

The 30 Day Money Challenge is here to help with that.

This 30 day financial challenge will help you create a strategy that can save, spend less, and make more by the end of this month!

Are you ready to dig into this month-long money challenge?

What is the 30 Day Money Challenge?

A money challenge is a plan for how to make your finances work better.

It can be as simple as spending less or eating out less, or something more complicated like saving up for retirement or buying a house.

During this month’s timeframe, you will dig into all areas of your finances to make sure you are on track to reach your money goals.

If you do not have financial goals, then we will make sure you do at the end of this money challenge.

I’ve seen a lot of spending challenges out there that are basically just a saving money chart telling you how much money to save each day to save $1000 or $500 in one month, but they don’t tell you how to save the money. That is where the rubber meets the road and this challenge will motivate you to improve your money habits.

Overall, you will learn more about your finances than you did previously.

Why a Money Challenge is Important

A 30 day challenge is a great way to get yourself motivated and focused on saving money and improving your money management.

The goal is not enough, you need the why behind it in order to see your savings grow.

This can be as simple as:

– Setting up a direct deposit from your paycheck to an account you control and only spending what’s in that account.

– Spending less on impulse buys.

– Cutting back on luxury items to save money.

– Living more in cash and less in credit card debt.

You can also take knowledge in knowing the number of our readers who have taken the challenge to improve their money management skills.

3 Steps to Start the Money Challenge

The 30 Day Money Challenge is a simple process that starts with 3 steps.

Your reward for participating in the challenge is pretty appealing, but the process can be hard for some.

So, know these steps before you start the challenge.

1. Pick a Time

While there is no good time to start, you need to find a time when you have the highest probability of success.

Starting the money challenge during the holidays will leave you defeated. Maybe starting as a New Year’s Resolution. Or during a quieter time throughout the year.

You need to find the “right” time because you will have to dedicate at least 10-30 minutes per day. However, the longer you put it off, the less likely you are to start.

2. Be Prepared

More than likely, you will be ripping off the band-aid on some old money failures and defeats. This is common.

You have to be mentally prepared to overcome these negative feelings towards money in order to find that breakthrough moment.

3. Accountability

Find someone to keep you accountable during the challenge.

There will be points when you want to accept defeat and run back to your old money ways. It’s great to create a support system for managing money wisely.

If those old money habits didn’t serve you well before, then how will they serve you moving forward.

You need to keep your eye on the prize!

Thirty Days of Money Challenges

A 30-day money challenge is a popular type of personal finance experiment in which participants take a pledge to review their finances and overcome any obstacles that are preventing them from long term financial stability.

The goal is to teach people how quickly they can change the trajectory of their personal finances before they snowball into a serious money problem.

Day 1 – Get Organized

If you don’t have an understanding of how many accounts you have, credit cards you have open, or debt payments that are due, then you must get your personal finances organized.

Start here to learn how to organize personal finances.

Day 2 – Understand your Income

If you do not know how much do I make a year, then you must figure that out first.

It is impossible to manage money if you do not know how much money is coming in.

Also, consider all types of income sources – earned, passive or investment.

Day 3 – Understand your Expenses

Understand where your paycheck is going. When you understand how much of your money is going to things like rent, utilities, and mortgage, you can make better decisions about spending.

This is not the time for “this-is-where-I-hope-my-spending-goes;” this is the true reality of how you spend money.

Day 4 – Pay Yourself First

This is a must for long-term success. Every time you get paid, you need to pay yourself first. Put a percentage of your paycheck into savings each month before anything else is spent on non-essential items.

We suggest starting with at least 5% of your income. Even better, you want to start with 20% of your income.

You must cut your fun spending until you can save money first.

When saving becomes an automatic habit, start investing through high yield accounts like IRAs and 401(K)s.

Day 5 – Automate your Emergency Savings

Set up a transfer to put $50 into your Emergency Fund every time you get paid.

Learn how much you need in your emergency fund. Remember, the goal is never to use your emergency fund, but you always want one – just in case!

Day 6 – Create Money Goals

Figure out what your financial goals are and how much they will cost over time, then come up with a strategy to achieve them.

You need to make a plan to reach your money goals.

If you skip this step, you may be lucky and still reach your goals. But, you can find better prosperity but writing out those money goals and maybe even using a vision board.

Learn how to create smart financial goals.

Day 7 – Budget Time

Crazy! I know. Most people would think that creating a budget would need to be first. But, it isn’t. You need to figure out days 1-6 first before you dig into budgeting.

Begin tracking your expenses on paper or online as soon as possible. Here are the best budgeting apps available.

The goal with the budget is to focus on saving first, then your expenses. you must spend less than you make.

Day 8 – Make More Money

Come up with ways to generate more income. Period. You need to make your money work for you.

You need to learn how to make your income work for you by creating streams of income outside of your primary work or “earned” income.

Theoretically, if multiple streams of revenue exist at your full-time job, you can work fewer hours than necessary.

Ways to Make Money:

Day 9 – Enough with Debt

Debt will hold you back. Period.

You need to recognize that paying off your debt is the best thing you can do for your finances. However, during this 30 day financial challenge, it is not the time to focus on paying off debt.

Calculate the total amount of debt (except mortgage).

Put down getting out of debt as one of your money goals and the timeframe to make it happen.

For now, don’t take on more debt, and make sure you’re paying the minimum on your credit card balance.

Day 10 – Understand Investing

Investing is a way of giving your money the opportunity to work for you. In other words, you are using what you have now in order to make more out of what you have in the future.

This is the first step to earning investment income that will fund your lifestyle.

Typically, most people associate investing in the stock market. Many people invest with their 401ks or IRAs. However, you can invest your personal income as well.

What if you could earn a return on that opportunity cost? For example, what if you invested the $10 in your wallet and it grew to be $20?

Learn how to start investing.

Trade and Travel 2.0

Learn to trade stocks with confidence.

Whether you want to:

  1. Retire in peace without financial anxiety
  2. ​Pay your bills without taking on a side hustle
  3. ​Quit your 9-5 and do what you love
  4. ​Or just make more than your current income….

Making $1,000 every.single.day is NOT a pie-in-the-sky goal.

It’s been done over and over again, and the 30,000 students that Teri has helped to be financially independent and fulfill their financial dreams are my witnesses…

Day 11 – Control Excess Spending

Every time you spend money, it is an opportunity cost to your future self. You are trading away your future self’s money to buy something today.

Is that what you want?

More than likely, no.

Learn how to drastically cut expenses.

Day 12 – Autopay your Bills

Consider setting up an autopay feature for your bills. It can help you avoid late fees and will have a steadier flow of money coming in.

This will help you to make sure you have the cash flow available to meet your expenses.

Day 13 – Avoid Fees

One of the best ways to save money is by avoiding fees.

  • If you have a credit card, consider switching to one with no annual fee or an introductory offer that expires after one year.
  • Check your bank and credit card statements for any fees you may not be aware of.

If there is a fee, call the company and negotiate to have it removed or reduced.

Day 14 – Automate Retirement Contributions

You should automatically make a certain percentage of your salary go to a 401k or other savings account, and the other percentage goes to your checking account for spending money.

This is something your human resources department can help you set up.

Day 15 – Increase your Retirement Contributions

Now, that you have automated your retirement contribution, you want to increase you much your contribution each year until you are maxed out by IRS limits.

Start to increase your retirement contributions by 1%.

Set a five-year goal to fully max your retirement contributions!

Halfway Point!!

You’re halfway through the 30 day money challenge!

Keep up the good work and keep reaching for your goals.

You’ve made it this far, so just imagine what you’ll be able to do in another month of working hard towards saving more money.

Day 16 – Communication

Don’t think money has to be a taboo topic. In fact, you need to be comfortable talking about money.

The key is to be on the same page with key family members about where money should go. This is something that we struggled with our marriage and had to overcome. Thankfully, we did and we made way more progress than previously.

Day 17: Invest in yourself

I know you’re probably tired of hearing about investing in yourself, but it’s important. Investing means putting money into something that will make more money back. You might not think this applies to you, but it really can! You might not have a big budget for investing in stocks or mutual funds right now, so let’s talk about something you do spend money on every day: you.

You only learn by growing.

Day 18 – Start Reading About Personal FInance

This isn’t something that you do once or twice. Make it a goal to read books on money or personal finances each month.

Importantly, make sure you are reading books, regardless of what aspect they look at money. It is never too late to pick up new tricks or ideas.

Plus learning from others’ money stories is powerful.

Day 19 – Free Fun

Participating in only free activities for 30 days, and refusing to spend a single penny, we created a guide to make that happen for you.

101+ Things to Do with No Money

After writing that post, we discovered this is one of the best money saving ideas out there. This guide not only teaches you how to save money but also teaches about where you want to spend money and the importance of living a purposeful life.

Day 20 – Review Insurance

You need to make sure you are properly covered with insurance as well as not paying too much money for your policies.

There are all of the types of insurance you need to review:

This is something you should do once a year.

Day 21 – Waste Less Food

You need to learn to save money by wasting less food.

This doesn’t mean you have to make homemade meals every night of the week! The goal is not to throw food away – that is hard earned cash going right down the trash.

Ways to Save Money on Groceries:

Day 22 – Buy Second Hand

Consider second-hand stores and consignment sales as options for buying used items. Thrift stores are also great to save money on clothes and other household items.

The same is true for buying cars, baby equipment, kids clothes, etc. Plus you protect our world.

Day 23 – Save Money

So, this day is all about saving money and I think that it’s the most important one of them all because if you’re not saving your money, then what are you doing with it? You’re throwing it away.

So today, I want to talk about two different types of saving money – physical and mental. The first one is all about physically saving your money. This is the easiest one because it doesn’t require any effort on your part to do so, but it’s also very important as well.

The second type of saving money is mental saving. This is all about saving your money because you know that something better will come along soon and it gives you hope for the future!

So, I think these two types of savings are both really important.

Day 24 – Give Back

This is the time to give back to others, donate money to charities, and put small contributions into charity.

By hoarding money, you are not learning the principles of helping others just like you have been helped along the way.

Day 25 – Renegoite Interest Rates

Right now, we are not starting to pay off debt. We are looking for ways to save on higher interest payments.

Make calls to renegotiate your interest rates on your debt. If the credit card company says no, then look at a zero interest transfer.

Just no more debt.

Day 26 – Avoid Scarity Mindset

You have to believe in yourself that you are capable of achieving great things and that includes success money.

However, we get caught in this trap of hoarding materialistic items in order to make up for the dollars in our bank account or money that was wasted in buying them.

If you don’t believe how poverty mentality overwhelms your life, then read this story of reclaiming your home with decluttering.

Day 27 – Cut Out What you Don’t Need

If you are not using something, sell it or give it away to someone who can use it more than you do!

You’ll save money and make room in your budget for the things that matter.

We learned a lot when we started to own less stuff.

Day 28 – Prepare for a No Spend Challenge

If you have not been able to keep your spending in check, this is an excellent opportunity for you to try out a no spend challenge once this challenge finishes.

A no spend challenge will help you to review your budget and see what areas of spending need more attention in order to increase savings or pay down debt.

Also, it will help you focus on what area are important to spend money.

Day 29 – Reward Yourself

This is the biggest lesson I learned when paying off debt and trying to increase our savings percentage. I became unable to spend money. I would feel guilty about spending money.

That is not the type of life you want. You must be comfortable spending money (especially if you are a thrifty person).

Pick rewards to match your smart financial goals. Keep motivated with those rewards.

Day 30 – Stay on Track

Proper money management does not end just because the end of the 30 day challenge is over. This is a lifelong skill to master and perfect.

Keep focused by not going over budget limits and being honest about where you really stand financially today as opposed to where you want it to be in the future.

You can stay on track if you have a deep desire to continue.

30 Day Money Saving Challenge

This one is just about saving money. Period.

Each day, you save money to reach your goal.

For many people, the 30 day money saving challenge will make sure you are on track with your goals and objectives.

At the minimum, you should be able to save $500 in 30 days. But, you need to decide what you want to save in a month.

The challenge is open to everyone, so this might be the perfect opportunity for you!

What is the 30 Day Money saving Challenge?

The 30 day money saving challenge is saving a set amount of money during the month.

Keep in mind, not everyone will be able to save this much in 30 days and that’s perfectly okay.

You need to make it work with your budget.

Another option for the 30 Day Money Challenge is committing to give up one or more expenses for the whole month. For instance, pick ten things that cost you money and give them up for 30 days.

How to get started with the 30 day savings challenge

The 30 day savings challenge is a simple but effective way to get started saving money.

You can choose any of these methods:

  • Take the amount you want to save and divide by 30. That is how much to save daily.
  • Determine the amount to save and take that immediately when you are paid.
  • It is easy to go in order or skip around depending on what amount you want to save each day.
  • Keep change hidden in jars and watch it add up over time, then put the money away every day and see where they rank at the end of the month.
  • Give up a certain expense and save that money.
  • Try a modified version of the 100 day challenge.

You can find plenty of money saving challenge printable or PDF in our resource library.

Want more easy money saving challenges?

Are you in for this 30 Day Money Reset Challenge?

This is only a 30 day money challenge because it’s a short period of time to gain a win. That is what you need to keep up the motivation as well as have a strong kickstart to your finances.

In order to build wealth through their finances, these are 30 smart moves that require no time on some days.

Don’t lose momentum. If you miss a day, then jump back into the challenge the next day.

The key to success for 2021 is to take control of your finances.

Know someone else that needs this, too? Then, please share!!

Did the post resonate with you?

More importantly, did I answer the questions you have about this topic? Let me know in the comments if I can help in some other way!

Your comments are not just welcomed; they’re an integral part of our community. Let’s continue the conversation and explore how these ideas align with your journey towards Money Bliss.

Source: moneybliss.org

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This post may contain affiliate links, which helps us to continue providing relevant content and we receive a small commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read the full disclosure here.


Money is a tricky concept.

It can be both the best and worst thing in your life depending on how you manage it.

Understand how to manage your money wisely and apply a few helpful tactics to your daily life. Simple habits will help you manage money better every day.

You must make money management easier and understand what types of pitfalls to avoid while we’re at it!

The following are a few ways to manage money. You can save it, spend it, or invest it.

There are many ways to manage your money wisely, but you should always start with your own control. You might not make all the choices that are right for you, but you must be prepared for the future.

This blog post provides tips for managing money, avoiding common mistakes by other people, reducing debt, spending wisely – these are just some examples of topics covered.

If you are ready to learn how to manage your money like a millionaire, then you are in the right place!

How to Manage Money Wisely

The key to managing your money is following the steps that are outlined in this article.

Financial stress can be managed by following the steps of managing money wisely. It is important to prioritize spending, don’t overspend on things that are not necessary, and learn about saving too because it will help you move towards financial stability.

You can learn how to properly manage your money with these swift mindset changes.

Below are 10 money management tips that will help you make better use of your finances.

1. Build a Firm Foundation

In order to make money better, people should set a firm foundation for themselves. This means setting up a financial strategy and making sure you have a plan in place. It also means having the right mentality about money and spending less than what you earn every month to avoid debt.

The first step is to establish a firm financial foundation, which means you must spend less than you make, save money for emergencies, and get out of consumer debt.

2. Design a Money Management Blueprint

A financial blueprint is a tool that can help you to build and maintain your money.

The problem for most people is they are starting at one place in their financial journey and are stuck on how to move to where they want to be.

That is where you need to follow the Money Bliss Steps to Financial Freedom. These are the exact steps to help guide your journey and a helpful blueprint to follow.

By taking each step one at a time, you will be able to make progress faster.

3. Define Your Goals

You must identify what your financial goals are.

  • What do you want?
  • Are you looking for more income?
  • Work fewer hours?
  • Something else entirely?

By setting money goals, this process will help you set a timeline and map out your journey.

4. Analyze Your Current Situation

This step is about taking stock of what you currently have to work with, such as income and expenditures, debts and assets, and savings.

This will help you decide what changes need to be made so that your goals can happen.

Honestly, this is probably the hardest step, and when most people give up. Taking a look at your true financial picture can be scary and painful to do.

5. Get on a Budget

Money is a source of stress for many people. It can be difficult to manage money when it’s not well-organized and set up properly.

In order to make sure that your money does not continue being a source of stress, create a budget and track spending!

A budget is a plan that helps you organize your money so that it can be spent effectively. It also shows where your money goes and what you are spending it on. Budgeting is an important part of managing money wisely because it helps you stay within your financial means, which ultimately saves you from living paycheck to paycheck or needing to borrow more than needed.

To create a budget, first set aside time for research and planning (this will take one day). Then create and write down the basic budget in a well-organized manner. It is important that you have a budget that works with your lifestyle and spending habits, so take the time to create one that fits what you need.

Some people go into budgeting with the goal of changing everything, but this is not necessary.

It’s important to make sure you’re realistic about your goals and target in order to get the most out of it. This will ensure you can meet your financial targets without breaking account after account or losing track of what has been spent already.

6. Say No to Debt and Create a Plan to Pay Off Debt

Creating a plan to pay off debt is crucial in order to reach financial goals.

It is important to create a plan to pay off your debts in order for you to be able to manage them better. High-interest rates should be tackled first, then work your way down through the rest of the debts.

The other key aspect is to stay out of debt. There is no need to buy something you cannot pay for in cash today.

Tools and tips to help you pay off debt:

This includes creating a budget and sticking with it, getting out of the habit of using credit cards, and saving money for an emergency fund.

7. Track Spending

Tracking expenses can help you see where your money is going so that you can make better decisions. For example, tracking your spending will allow you to know if the $200 concert was worth it.

Tracking spending will help you manage your money better.

It is important to be aware of how much we spend and what we spend it on so that you can make the best financial decisions possible.

This will help you to manage bills and save money.

8. Save Money

Every month, save money and put it in another account to be used in the future.

In order to make large purchases, it is important to have money set aside for that purpose. It is also a good idea to budget and save money in case there is an emergency.

An important phase in making smart money management tactics is to start investing as soon as you can. This is how you make your money work for you. Learn how to start investing.

9. Invest in your Financial Future

Almost a third of older Americans have nothing saved for retirement. That is a statistic you do not want to be a part of.

It’s never too early or too late to start saving for your retirement.

You should always be mindful of the future and plan accordingly. Whether it is through a 401k, IRA, Roth IRA, or other investment vehicles that you can contribute to in order to save up money for when you retire; make sure that whatever vehicle you choose gives an appropriate return on your invested funds (e.g., stocks).

In order to learn how to properly manage money wisely, you must be contributing to your retirement accounts. It may seem like a long way off until it is not.

10. Be Persistent

Managing your money can be a difficult task.

There are many ways that you can take control of your money situation and make it easier for yourself.

When it comes to managing your money, persistence is key. You’ll need to be persistent at all income levels in order for your savings and investments to grow.

How to Manage Money Effectively Now

Only do what you need to, not what you want to or can afford. Set up a budget and stick with it. Pay yourself first before buying anything else. Always save for the future, even if that means sacrificing now on some luxuries like eating out more often or setting aside money for retirement since your employer doesn’t offer one of those options yet.

A budget is a plan for how much money you will spend in each category every month. This will help you to pay off debt and reach your financial goals.

1) Create a monthly budget.

2) Track your progress in the spreadsheet throughout the year.

3) Make sure you’re saving at least 10% of your income/income minus loan payments, bills, and other expenses for emergencies and savings.

4) Pick one of these how to manage money books.

Take Action!

This step is all about taking the necessary steps to achieve your goals.

Again, this will vary for each individual and goal setter, but might include: cutting out unnecessary spending on luxuries; increasing income by asking for a raise or starting up a side hustle; and spending less on debt repayment by extending the term of your loan.

Be Patient!

This step is about being mindful that not every goal can be accomplished overnight, but it will happen with dedication and patience.

Be patient with yourself, your progress, and the change that is happening in your life as you work on achieving these new goals!

Are you Ready to Manage Money Better?

Learning how to manage money can be overwhelming when you haven’t built a strong foundation with money.

We have covered ways to make your life easy and money management better.

You need to learn how to manage your money.

You have to be the one to implement these tactics.

Proper money management ensures better outcomes with your finances.

From all of the free and paid budgeting apps, here are our top budgeting apps to check out!

This section may contain affiliate links, which helps us to continue providing relevant content and we receive a small commission at no cost to you. Please read the full disclosure below.

Empower Personal Wealth, LLC (“EPW”) compensates Money Bliss  for new leads. Money Bliss  is not an investment client of Personal Capital Advisors Corporation or Empower Advisory Group, LLC.

Know someone else that needs this, too? Then, please share!!

Did the post resonate with you?

More importantly, did I answer the questions you have about this topic? Let me know in the comments if I can help in some other way!

Your comments are not just welcomed; they’re an integral part of our community. Let’s continue the conversation and explore how these ideas align with your journey towards Money Bliss.

Source: moneybliss.org

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Inside: Unlock the secrets to savvy spending with smart budgeting strategies. Explore techniques to stay within your financial limits and secure a stable future. Use these ways to ensure your budget works.

Budgeting isn’t just about crunching numbers – it’s a lifeline for your financial health.

Staying within set limits is essential because it helps prevent debt accumulation, allows for savings growth, and ensures that you’re prepared for both expected and unexpected costs.

You probably already know this, but you don’t like the idea of a budget! Especially when you need to know how to stop going over budget!

Think of a budget as a financial compass, guiding you through the sea of expenses without losing your way.

Quick Overview of What Smart Budgeting Entails

Smart budgeting is the smart play in the financial game, where you make your money work for you, not against you.

This involves understanding your income, neatly categorizing expenses, and planning ahead to ensure you spend less than you earn. By doing this, you create a buffer zone for saving and investing.

It’s a balance of discipline, foresight, and savvy financial planning that aligns with your unique lifestyle and goals.

Below, we will have tips on how you can ensure you don’t go over your budget.

Top Tips to Stick to Your Budget

1. Set Clear Financial Goals to Guide Your Spending Choices

Setting clear financial goals is like planting signposts along your fiscal journey. They guide your spending choices and keep you motivated.

Whether it’s a dream vacation, a new car, or an emergency fund, specific targets make it easier to resist needless spending and ensure every dollar is bringing you closer to what you truly want. Remember, a well-defined goal is a milestone waiting to be reached.

Check out the top smart financial goals!

2. Know Your Income

Understanding precisely how much money you bring home is the bedrock of smart budgeting. This is how to calculate your annual net income.

If you are planning to spend more money than you make, then that is a huge red flag.

You have to plan to budget less than your income. Knowing these numbers is crucial; it ensures that your budget is built on solid ground and not in financial quicksand.

3. Create a Realistic Expense List

Time to be realistic about what you spend. Look at your bank accounts and credit cards to know what you are truly spending and where.

  • Start by listing all your fixed costs such as rent, utilities, and insurance.
  • Then, add estimates for variable expenses like groceries and entertainment.

Be honest and avoid underestimating these costs; if anything, overestimate slightly to give yourself some wiggle room. This transparency with yourself prevents unpleasant surprises and helps cement a budget you can truly live with.

4. Adopt Zero-Based Budgeting to Allocate Every Dollar

Zero-based budgeting is like giving every dollar a purpose before it even hits your wallet.

With this strategy, your income minus your expenses should equal zero, which means you assign every dollar to savings, investments, or expenses. This meticulous approach ensures that you don’t have any money aimlessly floating around, which reduces the temptation to splurge.

Zero-based budgeting is the ultimate financial organizer, making sure no dollar goes to waste. One of the popular budgeting methods to use!

5. Practicing the 24-Hour Rule to Avoid Emotional Spending

Emotions can often lead to budget-busting spending sprees. However, by practicing the 24-hour rule, you combat those impulsive urges.

This is one of the simplest ways I don’t go over budget.

When you feel the temptation to make a non-essential purchase, commit to waiting a full day before taking out your wallet. This pause allows you to consider if the item is a necessity or just a fleeting desire. Reflecting on your financial goals during this cooling-off period often leads to wiser decisions and consistent, long-term savings.

6. Automate Savings and Bill Payments to Prevent Oversight

The marvels of modern banking can turn you into a financial ninja with minimal effort. By automating your savings and bill payments, you rid yourself of the worry of manual oversight.

It’s as simple as setting up automatic transfers to your savings account right after payday and scheduling auto payments for recurring bills.

This ensures your financial commitments are met before you even think of discretionary spending, keeping your savings plan on track and your credit history spotless.

It may take a few months for your budget to start working.

7. Embrace the Envelope System for Controlled Spending

The cash envelope system takes budgeting back to basics with a tactile and visual approach.

By dividing cash into envelopes labeled for different spending categories like groceries, entertainment, or eating out, you create a physical barrier to overspending. Once an envelope is empty, that’s your cue to stop spending in that category.

It’s straightforward yet powerful; the tangible aspect of seeing cash dwindle provides a stronger cue to curb spending than swiping a card ever could.

8. Utilize Apps and Online Tools for Regular Budget Review

These platforms make regular budget reviews less of a chore and more of a seamless part of your daily life.

Track your expenses in real-time, receive alerts when you’re nearing a budget limit, and gain insights into your spending habits with just a few taps on your screen.

This tech-savvy approach to budgeting not only simplifies the process but also empowers you to make informed decisions about your money on the go.

Find the best budgeting apps on the market today.

9. Mindful Spending Techniques

This is when you question the value proposition and encourage you to think before you buy.

Start by questioning the necessity and value of the item.

  • Will it enhance your life or clutter it?
  • Is this on social media as the “must-have” item?
  • Do you truly need it? Or is it a want?
  • Will the constant barrage of new items increase your happiness?

Also, practice gratitude for what you already own to minimize the allure of new purchases.

Mindful spending isn’t about deprivation; it’s about making more room in your life for financial peace and the things that truly matter.

10. Altering Lifestyle Choices

Altering your lifestyle to fit your budget might sound daunting, but it’s often the most effective way to ensure your spending doesn’t spiral out of control.

The first step is to be mindful of lifestyle creep.

Make mindful modifications like dining in more often, choosing staycations over expensive holidays, or opting for public transport over a personal vehicle. These changes don’t have to feel like sacrifices; view them as trade-offs for a more stress-free financial future.

Embracing a lifestyle that aligns with your budget paves the way to a richer (pun intended) life. Yes, debt free is the new rich.

11. Dealing With Unexpected Expenses Without Breaking the Bank

You turn around and are hit with an unexpected expense. It is the worst and I know something we deal with on a yearly basis at least.

Dealing with unexpected expenses can feel like navigating a financial minefield. To handle these without breaking the bank, initially aim to establish a rainy day fund with at least 10-20K of cash investments.

Start small, if necessary, and grow this fund over time. Should an unexpected expense arise, you can dip into this fund instead of derailing your budget. It’s your personal financial cushion, softening the blow of life’s surprises without causing a monetary meltdown.

12. When to Adjust Your Budget for Income and Lifestyle Changes

Life never sits still, and neither should your budget. If there’s a change in your income — maybe a raise or a job loss — it’s time to adjust your numbers. Similarly, lifestyle changes like a new family member or a big move call for a budget review.

Revisiting your budget whenever these changes arise ensures it remains tailored to your current circumstances. A budget that reflects your present situation is not only more realistic but also more sustainable.

The goal is to increase your savings percentage with any extra income coming in and forgo lifestyle inflation.

13. Keeping a Miscellaneous Line in Your Budget for Surprises

Life’s full of surprises, and some can hit your wallet unexpectedly. Keeping a miscellaneous line in your budget is like having an umbrella for a rainy day.

Set aside a small pot of money within your budget for these unforeseeable instances. If a surprise does pop up, you can cover the cost without dipping into other savings or spending allocations. This strategic buffer grants you financial flexibility and peace of mind.

Also, this can be used as fun money when times are tight.

14. Tracking Progress and Celebrating Small Wins

A budget is a living document, but it’s also a tapestry of your financial victories.

Tracking your progress is not just about ensuring compliance; it’s about recognizing and celebrating the small wins.

These accomplishments, such as paying off a credit card or sticking to your budget for a full month, build momentum and reinforce positive habits. Celebrate these successes—they’re the stepping stones to your larger financial dreams.

Plus, they’re great morale boosters that motivate you to keep going!

15. Find an Accountability Partner to Keep You in Check

Enlisting an accountability partner is like having a co-pilot on your financial journey. Choose a trustworthy friend or family member who understands your goals and is willing to help you stay on course.

Share your budget, your triumphs, and even your slip-ups with them. They can offer support, celebrate your victories, and gently nudge you back on track when needed.

Your accountability partner is a powerful ally, turning the often solitary act of budget management into a shared and sociable success story.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

To quickly create a budget you’ll stick to, use a reliable tool like YNAB to map out your income, essential expenses, savings, and discretionary spending for the next month. By clearly seeing where your money should go, adjusting as needed, and monitoring your progress, it becomes easier to adhere to your financial plan.

Keeping it simple and realistic from the start is the best foundation for budget commitment.

You might be exceeding your budget due to unrealistic limits, impulse purchases, or unexpected expenses. Prevent this by creating a realistic budget on what you already spend and creating a buffer for unanticipated costs.

Consistency and flexibility in your approach are key to staying within budget.

Accommodating irregular income requires a bit of foresight.

  1. Start by budgeting based on your lowest-earning month to create a conservative baseline.
  2. Save during higher-income periods to smooth out the leaner ones.
  3. Continually adjust your spending priorities as your income fluctuates.

Also, maintain an emergency fund and categorize expenses by necessity to build a budget that’s both resilient and flexible.

Automated payments are a game-changer for sticking to your budget. They ensure bills and savings get paid first, reducing the risk of spending what you intended to save or forgetting due dates.

Setting up automatic payments may take a few hours and a few months to verify all of your bills are paid. But, something that is worth you doing.

Automation takes the guesswork out of financial commitments and helps you maintain a consistent savings habit.

How do I make sure I don’t go over my budget?

You are afraid to budget because you know you will go over your budget, right?

That mentally needs to change.

To ensure you don’t go over your budget, embrace the psychological trick of setting your spending plan slightly below what you can comfortably afford.

Convince yourself that this lower threshold is your maximum capacity, and any overages will merely tap into your deliberate buffer rather than causing financial strain. For example, if your income is $5000 per month, then budget $4000. That way you have a buffer to be (hopefully) saved at the end of the month.

One step closer to becoming financially stable.

Know someone else that needs this, too? Then, please share!!

Did the post resonate with you?

More importantly, did I answer the questions you have about this topic? Let me know in the comments if I can help in some other way!

Your comments are not just welcomed; they’re an integral part of our community. Let’s continue the conversation and explore how these ideas align with your journey towards Money Bliss.

Source: moneybliss.org