May 8, 2019

Needs vs Wants: How to Budget for Both.

Budgeting can be very hard. Coming from an 8 family household, I can definitely say that budgeting can be very very tricky. You want to make sure to write down all of the household income that is coming in. Make a separate list of some savings goals you have in mind and make sure to specify for what. For example, a vacation fund or a repair fund. I created a sheet to help you manage your money and write down all of the expenses. Just click on the link below to download and print.

Download Budget worksheet

Need versus want is pretty much self-explanatory. You need food but you "need" that cute shirt. The shirt can wait but the food cannot. It can be very easy to mix the two up. Try not to be one of those people. Make your budget, stick to it, and do not lose sight of the goals you have set. Start to live frugally and shop frugally to get more "bang for your buck". Start to coupon and follow sales to minimize your grocery bill and your household items shopping trip. This is all a "learn as you go" system. It may take you quite a few tries to get it right and figure out which system works for you. You might even have to make adjustments. You also should make a list of household items that you purchase and start to learn the sale cycles. Sales repeat every six weeks or every three months or so unless it is a popular item that goes on a sale twice a year or once a year.

I recommend that you write down the prices of grocery items or household items that you typically buy. For our household, we have some food restrictions due to diets and food allergies. What I do is make a list and buy local from the farms or shop the sales for the produce. It'll help you out in knowing how much you will save when using a coupon and taking advantage of store perks when buying these items. I started writing down the items I use and how often they were on sale so that I was able to figure out when they'd go on sale next. The only thing I can't guarantee is seasonal produce. I buy produce from farmer's markets. They tend to be cheaper than the supermarkets and it supports local farmers. Below you will find a link to my 'Couponing 101' and my ' Couponing Tip: Know the sale cycles' page so you can take a look at what goes on sale during what month. Please keep in mind that not every state or store is the same so items may vary.

Click here for Couponing 101

Couponing Tip: Know the sale cycles

Now let's go back to talking budgets and needs and wants and everything in between. Grab a notebook or your laptop and start making a list of everything you spend money on. That means from toilet paper to your car insurance. Group the items to fit under categories and how often your household will need them. Then you'll want to start clipping coupons and matching those coupons up with sale items. Your binder should be organized with all budget notes. I have mine written down in a notebook and in an excel spreadsheet. As I spend, I'll write it down and check it off. I also keep an inventory of the items I have in my house so that I know when it is time to buy that item again. The ratio I have in my mind is to save 30% of your paycheck for your savings goals, 15% for entertainment needs and the unnecessary wants you want to get and the rest (55%) for your bills. You will start seeing the results of your budgeting almost instantly. Make sure you do research for local free family entertainment. There is always something to do for free that will keep your family occupied.

Comment below if this helped you or if you are looking to start doing this and have some questions. Happy budgeting!

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