You can save money without budgeting! I tried to budget years ago and my husband made it clear to me that he was not going to live on a budget! How do you do that?
Lucky for him I’m easy to get along with! I can’t make him live on a budget, so what do I do? What he was really saying was he didn’t want me to limit how he spent his money. I’m sure there are many of you out there that are in the same boat with me where one partner won’t consider a budget. Well, I’ll tell you a few ideas of my own and how we live without a budget and maybe it will work for you too!
We are self-employed and never know how much money we are going to make every month. We have plenty of paperwork to do. Extra time is something we do not have. Now we are not in the position where we have to watch every quarter we spend. I would say we on average spend a hundred dollars more a month on trivial things than we should. That’s not much considering we aren’t checking our wallets and bank account every day twice a day or saving our receipts and counting them up to see how close we are to running out of money! If you fit into that category, then by all means, stick to your budget.
Before you can live without a budget you need 4 to 6 months of income in a savings account! That way if you mess up and overspend the money you make in a month you have a backup plan until you resave the money. I love, love, love, the good feeling of having 4 months of income in the bank for emergencies. If you’re a teen or 20 something and wanting to move out from under Mom and Dad’s roof this is the only way for you to do it. It just doesn’t work to hope you will make enough money and not spend too much money without a knowledge of how much you will need every month in order to pay your bills. So you could say we budget by not spending money unless we feel we absolutely need to.
This is how we don’t overspend our money.
We have our limits on what “kinds” of things we buy.
There are lots of little ways to save money without budgeting that add up.
Start adding up little luxuries you buy at the Quickmart or even at garage sales to a total for the year! Are these things worthwhile to give up? Here’s some to think about:
1 chocolate milk and a pack of cheese crackers $3.00 a day $1095.00 a year!
3 Starbucks coffees a week. $9.00 a week $468.00 a year!
Eating lunch out 5 days a week $10.00 a day $2600.00 a year!
Watch streaming T.V. instead of cable $60.00 a month $720.00 a year!
Eating out 2 steak dinners once a month $60.00 Grill steaks at a friend’s house instead for $25. Save $420.00 a year
Now add these up. Can you think of something you would rather have?
Imagine if you invested that money ($5303.00) instead for 25 years at 7% interest you would have…wait for it…..
It Adds Up! You would never think that but it does!
I’ll brew my own coffee, buy my crackers and chocolate milk at the grocery store,
pack my lunch, grill out with friends and play with my new boat as my reward
for saving all that money!
We don’t buy expensive cosmetics and hair products. This isn’t entirely true. I have a favorite foundation I buy from a department store. But on average if we were to buy all our products from salons and department stores we would be spending between 200. and 400. dollars a month just on products. I know this because I worked at a cosmetic counter and if you want to buy all your skincare and makeup in one trip you will easily spend 500 dollars. Some of the products are better, some aren’t. That’s why I chose to be happy with one thing and remember there are other things I want to spend my money on.
We buy used vehicles. New vehicles lose up to 10% of their value when you drive them off the lot! Let’s face it, unless you have the cash for a new vehicle, are banking extra money in a savings account every month, why would you burden yourself with a payment that will keep you from doing other things with your money like having fun! If you buy a vehicle 2 years old and with mileage lower than 35,000. miles you’re going to save approx. $5000.00 from the start.
In fact, this is the secret to saving money!
Be happy with what you can afford and
get the extra benefit of enjoying your life
and not being pinned down to debt!
Don’t fall for the loans you qualify for. Only loan what you want to be in debt for. It’s crazy to me to get the highest loan you qualify for because you want to leave the possibility open that something could happen to you, like an unexpected illness, an appliance breaks, your vehicle breaks down or someone smashes into it, an unexpected baby! or even a parent who needs your financial help.
Shop at outlets, and discount stores and drive past the mall! Why is it so expensive there? If you can’t help yourself at least check out the sale and clearance racks or take a coupon with you. Give consignment stores a try. Some of them are terrible and some are awesome!
On average I know what we make a year and when I break it down to months and subtract all the necessities, I have a good idea about what I can spend on extras like clothing or dine out. So I keep a list of things I want to get or need to stretch my wardrobe and only get those things. That way I’m not distracted by all the awesome outfits on display that don’t fit into my wardrobe and would use all my extra money. Yes, it takes a bit of humility to not always have the latest and greatest clothing. But, later, you will be proud of yourself for being able to afford other things in your life besides the best clothing.
Plan your meals according to what’s on sale in the grocery store that week. Coupons are great if you have time to get them together. If you usually spend $10 on fruit every week and a different fruit will be cheaper give it a try. However, you won’t save money if you buy things that are on sale that you can’t normally buy. The idea is to only get what you need. Cutting back on desserts and drinks make a big difference. We drink water and iced tea. I make the tea so it’s an extra bonus.
Make it a lifestyle to come up with a cheaper way to do things. Our flat screen T.V. stopped working one day. We had a warranty but they couldn’t come out to fix it for 2 weeks. I hate to admit it but that’s a long time with no T.V. We could wait but we looked up on U-tube how to fix it and 26 mini screws later it was working well enough to watch considering it still needed a part we didn’t have. The last time our dryer broke we learned on U-tube that we just needed a belt. Within an hour we put the belt on and it was working fine. We saved $100. for that fix. Amazing what you can find on U-tube!
Bottom line…time is our most valuable asset. I believe that for myself, being able to
be free of debt and knowing that I’ll have money in the future to retire and have a bit of fun.
And look at the things you’re giving up. Not that much.!
So get out there and enjoy life with a savings account and no budget! On paper that is.
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