Tips and Tricks – Use a Zero based Budget

When you have a budget set up I really lie to use a zero based budget. This is telling every single penny that you have where its going. This way you don’t have something there in your account that you think is spendable on that over priced overly caloric coffee that you just have to have. Only the next day you realize that the money should have been used on your cell phone bill. Having a zero budget and even separate accounts for bills, spending money and savings helps you to keep on track of everything.

Tips and Tricks – Set up a Budget

One of the best ways to save money is to know exactly where your money is going. To do this setting up a budget is key. Without a budget you are flying by the seat of your pants and you have a higher risk of forgetting something. This could lead to added late fees or over draft fees. This is money that you could spend on things you want to instead of paying for things that slip through your fingers.

Tips and Tricks – Use Cash

Another easy step you can make to save money is to shop your local Goodwill or resale shop. I have done this many times over the years for myself or the kids. Now I will admit that I do become very picky when shopping there. But I can afford to because we have very rarely been in the position where we desperately need something.  When my kids were still growing I would always be shopping for the next size up. So it was easy enough to pass on the things that didn’t meet my approval.

In fact, right now I am going to be hitting GoodWill/Salvation Army stores by me searching for a pair of tuxedo pants for my daughter. She wants them for one of the choir outfits she needs for this year.

Zero based budget – What is it?


When you are budgeting I like to use a zero based budget. This kind of budget assigns a job to every penny. And if you are anything like me, who at times have problems with seeing money in your account that is just sitting there. Move the money to where it is going as soon as possible. Otherwise it could begin to slip through your fingers.

With a zero based budget you take the money coming in an decide where it is going, like weekly spending, savings or to bills.

I like this budget and use it, because if I were to leave money in my regular account I would think that I could just spend it. So when money comes into my account I first pay the bills that are needed to be paid, even if this is only paying a portion of the bill. I send the money I am savings straight to my savings account. And then I take the cash out to fill my cash envelopes.



Why you should be budgeting

Are you are in a constant state of wondering, worrying, terrified over how you are going to pay your bills?

Do you just never have any money, but you make a good salary?

Is it true that you have enough for your needs but not much else?

Do you deal with money?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions than you should be budgeting your money. By budgeting I mean that you are tracking the inflow and outflow of money that passes through you. I believe in the zero based budget, and keeping only the amount of money that is needed in my main accounts. Because for most of us, me included if you see money in your account you automatically think that you can spend it. You are not seeing that phone bill coming in a few days, or rent at the end of the month. Then once you’ve spent the money and its the day before a bill is due you are panicked over how you will pay it.

For those of you who always have enough money to spend and to keep paying the bills. A budget will allow you to plan for those big expenses like a car, vacation, house, retirement or college for your kids. And anyone who has enough money for all of that without worrying about paying for it. Think if you were budgeting how much you could send on to those who could really benefit from some extra money. Like any of the endangered animals of the world, or the local homeless shelter or food pantry by where you are.

The people who need to budget the most are the ones who are living paycheck to paycheck worried about the next bill to come in. Where one bad thing happening to them could cause some real hardship.

This is a hard place to start from, because you are so worried and distracted by life. But you need to do this. You need to find those little leaks where your money is flowing through and plug them. You need to know if you just are not making enough money right now and you have to get a second job or a side hustle to bring in enough to balance the budget. Those are hard truths to face, but I can promise you the relief you will feel when you have things under control will be well worth stepping out of your comfort zone.

Know that you are not alone, I have been where you were with nothing. I’m now at the point where our needs are meet and some of the extras are starting to happen. But the thought of spending money on a vacation or even a new couch is something that starts me sweating in fear. But I know in my head I have enough money coming in, that with some planning and discipline (my weakness here) I could do both of those.

So while I’m currently in a better place than some I still have a way to go before I get to true financial freedom. And this is why I am re committing to getting a budget in place that I can follow. And that I can spend money on something my kids want or need and I’m not just taking money that really should be going someplace else.