The Secret Money Saving Formula No One Wants You to Know!

We are off to a strong start during our January Jumpstart. In case you missed it, start here for our first challenge. A new year means a new fresh start and it's a great time to take charge of your finances. Through a series of challenges and practical tips, I am helping you work towards those savings goals. The only way you can do that is by identifying a practical savings goal and then making intentional choices as you make small changes to achieve your goal. For our family, we will be paying off the balance on our mortgage. We took a 30-year mortgage and have been able to pay it off in 10 years with frugal living, wise choices, and clear goals. I'm sharing some of the practical tips we have used to help us through the years with you because practical is my middle name. There is no special formula to money-saving, just a lot of practical choices and those often start with a budget. I'm sharing a few of my favorite budgeting tips today.

practical budgeting tips

Practical Budgeting Tips: No Magic Formula


Saving money sounds simple enough. All you have to do is not spend money to save money. Well, if it were that simple, everyone would be able to do it. The reality is that getting started is the most challenging part. It's like asking someone who just lost a lot of weight what their secret was. Usually, they will tell you the hard part is getting started, but after that, it's all about eating less and moving more. 

There is no special formula for money-saving, just a lot of practical choices and those often start with a budget!

So how can you get started with a budget?


Start here: How to Start Saving Money

Know What you Are Working With

I'm going to sound like a broken record, but you have to know what you are working with before you can set any clear savings goals or create a budget for yourself or your family. You have to know how much money you make, how much you are spending, and where your money is going each and every month. You can't start to save money until you know how much you can save.

Live Below Your Means

This is one of the tips I heard often from my parents. It feels like such common-sense advice, but it goes back to the weight loss analogy. There is no secret, just eat less, move more. The same goes with setting a budget and money-saving, spend less, earn more. There is no magic formula. 

Create a Budget and Track Your Spending

Since the moment we said "I do" 22 years ago, my husband has been tracking every single penny that we spend. He uses Quicken for our family. If you prefer to use a pen and paper, use a pen and paper. If you want to use an app, use an app. I don't care what you do as long as you are tracking your spending. This will make sure that you are spending below your means and on a budget so that you are making your money work for you. 

The key is knowing where you are spending every dollar.

Create a Savings Goal

I'll be introducing 5 practical tips for setting a savings goal later this month.

Your savings goal could be to set aside $10,000 to take a family vacation {oh how I've missed travel!}. Your savings goal could be to pay off the remaining balance on your car or student loans, whatever it is, you need a tangible money goal you can work towards so that you can understand why you are making the savings sacrifices that you are.

If it's helpful, write down your savings goal and tape it up in a place you will see it often. 

The Secret Money Saving Formula No One Wants You to Know!


There is no secret. That is all.

What Does it Mean to Live on a Budget?

Creating a spending plan, otherwise known as a budget, is the best way to ensure that you live within your means. Your spending plan, gives you exactly that, a plan for spending. See, I told you, it's not rocket science! No magic formula, just a plan.

Budgeting is actually boring!

We tend to track habits rather than stick to a rigid budget. But you can't do that if you don't know where your money is going!

Want to get tips on how to live on a budget? Check out this post! 

See how I called around and saved our family thousands of dollars a year!

You can't make a realistic budget without knowing what you realistically spend your money on. So keep track of your expenses! Told you I'd sound like a broken record.

Your homework this week is to set up a budget for your family. Take into account the savings goals you set earlier this month.  And by budget, you could actually create various money line items you want to live within or you could look at your spending trends and look at the various places you want to cut back. Sometimes it's eye-opening to see how much you are spending on take-out food, fancy coffee, or even at the craft store!

How is your pantry challenge going? Are you sharing your shopping trips using #pantrychallenge and tagging me? I'd love to see your successes and your failures! We are in this together!

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