I know all about living on a budget. I have been doing it for quite some time. It took a while but I have found some secrets to living on a budget and still being able to enjoy life. I was young when I had my first child and was a single mother. I had to learn how to be frugal and work with what I had. It was not always easy but the more I practiced and worked at budgeting the better I became. With that practice life begins to get a little easier without having the constant worry of money and bills.
Firstly I always list my bills, whether on a spreadsheet on your computer or the good old fashioned way by getting a notebook and writing them down. At the beginning of the month I list out my bills. Most of them are things I pay every month but there is the occasional bill that sneeks up such as car insurance or taxes. I add those to the list as soon as I receive them. By listing all of these it helps me to make a plan for the month. I budget my money month by month. I list out the paydays for the month and under each pay day I designate exactly which bills will be paid with that paycheck. This helps me to know which weeks will be tighter on money than others. The weeks that I have a little extra money I can plan to use as needed.
The extra money mentioned before is a good time to do the things in the household that need to be done such as getting your car serviced or buying a necessity for your household. Planning your spending on the weeks when you have a little extra will reduce alot of stress. If by chance there is no immediate need for anything then this would be a good week to do a little shopping or treat yourself to dinner. Even though you are on a budget it is nice to treat yourself sometimes to keep from going stir crazy. You can learn to take some money and use if for yourself without overdoing it.
When shopping I always try to buy on sale whether it food or clothes. I understand that it is not always possible but I do it as much as I can. When shopping for clothes especially for my children I always buy on sale. Stores usually have good clearance sales a few times a year to get rid of seasonal items. I am talking about 50 to 75 percent off. That is alot of savings. Just the other day I bought a name brand fleece pullover for 75% off. I paid $4.75 and bought the size my son will be next fall. So the summer clothes that my son will get this summer will be items I purchased last fall when they were being clearenced out. So I spent far less than someone who will have to go out and buy things this summer and my children always have a wardrobe for the coming season and it is name brand items and I spent less money than if I had gone to a mass merchandiser such as Walmart.
Every little bit helps. These few tips can save you money and help keep the stress in your life down if you are living on a budget. With the economy the way it is everything seems to be getting more expensive so the more you can save the better off you are.