Happy Monday everybody! I hope you found my first two budgeting tips helpful! I feel like getting started is 75% of the battle. 

SO as I posted before hand, your first step in working towards financial freedom, or whatever you wanna call it is....

#1 Figure out where you money is going.                                                                                                           #2 Prioritize what you need to be saving for and what is most important in your life.

So once Josiah and I figured out what are priorities were we we able to create a budget and savings plan that helps us to achieve our goals. We created a monthly budget plan and I noticed that I actually do mine a bit different than most :/ 

The first thing I do is write down a list of our bills as well as what we like to save money for. I write down what our usual bill payments are. Some change slightly and some are always are the same. For the bills that change I always heir on the side caution and plan for the bill to be on the higher side. I hate surprises. 

After I write down our bills, usual gas and groceries ect., I write down what we need to save for. Here is our list just to give you an idea!

  • Emergency Fund ( we also make sure this is filled first ).
  • Retirement
  • Saving for thing like a new car, investment properties ect.
  • Travel
  • Damian's education
  • Damian's extra curricular activities
  • Car Maintenance

I have opened a few savings accounts within our joint account where I save specifically for things such as travelling, car maintenance ect. That way we know if we can book a trip, that we have car insurance and tire money set aside! It does take a lot of extra steps come payday, but I have found that we know what money is for what. 

After this I total up what our costs are and adjust from there. This is where I can look back to our priorities and I adjust to meet those needs. For example, at this point saving for Damian's extra curricular activities is just for us to get a head of the game because those kids sports aren't cheap. That area is somewhere that we could do less of one month or lower because it isn't a necessary thing at this point.  

Once you have your budget in place and you and your partner agree to it is when you begin to execute it. I find using a cash only system is the best way to never overspend. At the end of the week or two weeks, you can take the cash you didn't spend and put it towards debt, savings or buy yourself a new shirt. 

Finances can be so tough, it's a hard thing to talk about, but it is so important. Budgets are always a work in progress, things happen. You might over spend on something one month, your car might break down or maybe you win the lottery. Having a plan will give you something to go back to! 

Also, I highly recommend talking to a financial advisor about things like life insurance, how much you need to save monthly for retirement and asking questions about your kid's education plans. It really helped us align ourselves as a couple and know how to proceed financially!