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3 Step Simple Action Plan To Start A Budget – Ep. 103

Are you finding it hard to get started with budgeting because it seems overwhelming?

If you’re in that situation, don’t worry! In this episode, I’ll share a simple three-step simple action plan to start your budget. All right, here we go.

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Wondering What’s Next?

Podcast Key Points:

1:43 – Spending – Ideally What Do You Need To Know
4:56 – Seeing Your Income
6:20 – Key To Making This Stick
8:27 – This Isn’t A Budget

Frustrated that you aren’t making the progress that you should within your finances? Create an unshakable money mindset with the Money Mindset Mastery Checklist

3 Step Simple Action Plan To Start A Budget

I know I need to do something, but I just can’t seem to get started. It’s overwhelming. And I don’t even know where to begin, or what I need to cut. That is a question or conversation I have recently on Instagram. And if she’s feeling that way, I know that there are so many others feeling that way. And you’re not alone. So today, I want to give you a three-step, simple action plan to start your budget. All right, here we go.

Overcoming the Overwhelm

Welcome back to the Your Money, Your Life podcast, we are talking about simple action steps for you to actually start a budget. And you heard in the intro, this is sparked from a conversation I had recently on Instagram, it’s like, okay, like I don’t even know where to begin. It’s overwhelming to start.

And I have to tell you, I hear this time and time again. That’s also why like, so much of the information is here. Like you can find all the information, because I know the part that really, most of us get stuck with isn’t the information, like it’s actually doing the work.

So, I’ll give you some resources here at the end if you want my support when it comes to actually doing the work. But let’s go to the three-step simple action plan to start a budget you ready.

Step 1: Track Your Spending

So, the first thing that you need to do is you need to know what you were spending. Now I’m going to give you like the ideal action step. And then like bare minimum action step, okay.

So ideally, you’re going to go back at least 30 days, and track all of your spending, whether you do this on pen and paper or you do it with an app. Honestly, I kind of use both. I have my app, my system to track everything. And then at the end of the month, I copy that data onto paper so that I can see it.

Actually, it’s an Excel spreadsheet, but then I printed it out. So, then it really is paper and I’m overcomplicating it. Anyways, ideally, you’re going to look back at what you’ve spent total credit cards, bank accounts, all the accounts everywhere that you’ve spent money over the last 30 days.

If you’re a business owner, obviously we have to do business side and personal side. We had to have both. But it’s not just enough to have the system.

Okay, and we’re gonna get to that with your third action step. But ideally, you’re gonna go back 30 days. But often I’ll hear like, Okay, this is overwhelming. Um, the I don’t like I don’t have time to go back and gather all that data together. It’s too much, right? Okay.

Get Started Today

So bare minimum, the first action step that you need is start today. You can do it. Start today, set up the account.

YNAB is the one that I use and recommend for my tracking system. I’ll include a link in the show notes for you to check it out. Get a free 30 Today trial when you use my affiliate link.

There are others that work out there. I don’t really like every dollar. It’s technically an option. But I’m not crazy about it. And but there’s so many different ones out there.

It’s not about like finding the quote, right app, there’s so many out there. They technically all work. Yes, you can find one that works for you. But just get started.

Or if you don’t want to use app, pen and paper works just fine. I have my Budgeting For Success worksheets which gives you the categories to track. Link for that in the show notes as well if you want to check those out. But that’s your first step.

Step number one track your spending, okay? Whether you’re going back 30 days, or you’re starting today, and going forward, okay?

Step 2: Know Your Income

The second thing you need to know is your income. I know this feels like just so simple, but that’s what I do is I make money simple, right? All your income. So, this can include like interest that you’ve gotten on your savings account.

Hopefully you’re making good interest. If not, you know I use and love discover for that. But your income, if you have a business, your business income, all the different sources, your spouse’s income, if your expense of your budgeting your finances are combined. Whatever it might be all the income for the last 30 days, we have to know what you actually brought it like pro step here, because there’s not really a simplified version.

We have to know how much you make. I guess your simplified version would be instead of going back 30 days just tracking from here forward that we talked about for the first one. But really, income is probably not that hard to gather.

But your pro step is if you have two, income tracking your gross income versus your net income now, gross income is before taxes and net is after. They take away taxes, insurance, anything else that you’re paying like your net. Your actual bring home is your net. That’s your pro step.

But step number two, gather all of your income. It’s not, again, the stuff that we talked about, it’s not rocket science, right? We’re just keeping it simple.

Step 3: Create a Habit

Now, the third, this is key, like if you can get to the first and second one, this is the third like is where I see people trip up, okay? You have to create a habit, whether you’re using a reminder, or I don’t know routines, you’re paying somebody. This is like some of the done-for-you work that I can do.

But you have to know how much has been spent, and how much you’ve earned. Ideally, do it at a weekly level, we do the daily Money Minute, which we’ve talked about several times, and the daily Money Minute is helping to keep you accountable to yourself.

And it takes a little bit of time, it’s just a small moment, and we tie it into what we’re working towards. So, you check on your bank account. You update your tracker, then you look at the next goal that you’re working towards.

The Daily Money Minute

So, you’re tying that money to the association of what you want it to; what you want to achieve next, right. And that’s why the daily Money Minute is so powerful, but it also rolls into everything. So, what you’re doing in the day to day, if you get behind, if you skip a day, you’re not behind really.

If you skip a day or something happens and you don’t get to it, you have your weekly check-in to fall back on. And the weekly check-in is really important. 30 minutes is all you got to make time for once a week. Check in with your finances.

We go in through like, there’s so many different programs where we do this. I’m not going to give you too many different options. We’ll give you the link at the end. And we can talk about like what this looks like.

Weekly Check-ins

But your weekly check-in is so important. But if something happens, and you miss a weekly check-in because, you know, life happens. We set you up for success if it’s done correctly, so that it’s not a big deal if you miss a week, but also then you have your month end to put a bow on everything for you.

And your month and isn’t as overwhelming in this massive list of things to do because you’ve been staying on top of it with your daily Money Minute. And you’ve been staying on top of it with your weekly check-ins. It all works together to make things seem lists. Keep it simple, right? That’s it.

It’s Not About Cutting

That’s like the official thing to start a budget. You notice what we didn’t talk about was cutting anything. Because your budget doesn’t mean you have to cut anything, your budget. And this isn’t even really a budget.

Let me look back up on what we just talked about that’s on a budget. That’s tracking your expenses. A budget is setting the intention of where you want your money to go before you’ve spent it.

So, this expense tracking all that this is like the foundations to be able to set the budget. But even when you do get to the point that you create a budget, you’re not having to cut something. This isn’t about limitations and restrictions and having to not spend money on stuff.

This is about knowing where your money’s at, and then making the decision where you want the money to go. Maybe you are in a spot where you want to spend less so that you can go do more things.

The Benefits of Budgeting

My kids. Recently we’ve talked about, like the cruises, that myself and then like my husband. This is why our honeymoon was a cruise like we’ve talked about cruises. So now the kids really want to go on a cruise.

So, we can make a decision to spend less than one category because we’re wanting to fund the cruise faster. But it’s not about limiting what we were what we were spending over here. It’s about funding the cruise, right. But we don’t have to do that it’s whatever you want to do.

Mastering Expense Tracking

So, tracking your expenses, and having the budget is just simply being smart. We have to know where we’re spending money, or you’re statistically proven to be overspending an average of 7100 hours a year. This could be through subscriptions that you didn’t know that you had this can be through impulse purchases, or technically there, this could be fraud.

There are so many things that add up. And you’re like, oh, well, I don’t have fraud on my account. And I know where things are at. It’s fine. No, you don’t.

We think that we do we think that we are like we’ve got it. We’ve got it handled but unless you know your numbers and you have this system in place, your tracking software or just checking off your bank balance and paying your bills is not being financially savvy. And when we have control of our finances, you are able to be happier.

There’s less stress off of your shoulders. There’s stress lifted off your shoulders, there we go. Not a double negative.

There’s stress lifted off of your shoulders. Your lifestyle is elevated, because you know what you need to do, and you make more money to just as a side note like this, that’s the way it works.

Taking Action for Financial Success

Okay. So, three-simple step action plan to start a budget which really was tracking your expenses so that you can start a budget. So, maybe I should have titled this episode differently. We’ll have to work on that later, right.

So, we’re tracking all of our spending was the first step. The second one was tracking all of our income. And the third one is setting the routines. Now, we talked about several different resources throughout this program. If you’re like, I don’t know what I should do first, Aimee, I need your help. Just tell me what you need to do.

Personalized Support

The link is going to be in the show notes book a discovery call with me, We do these as audio only zooms. So, we’re essentially on the phone together, like and we’ll work through things because I’m a mom. I’m busy.

There’s limited time, but I know that you need help. And I know that you’re busy too. So together, we’ll figure out what your next steps should be based on your own personal situation because your finances are unique to you.

Stay Connected

And I feel like your support solution should be to that’s what I’ve got for now. Send me a message on Instagram and let me know what this episode was helpful. And yeah, see you on Instagram @aimeecerka. Bye for now.

Thank you so much for listening to the Your Money, Your Life podcast. Wondering what’s next? When you’re ready, there are different levels of support that you can use on the path to creating unstoppable finances and your unstoppable life.

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Aimee Cerka
Aimee Cerka

The Money Confidence Coach - She helps motivated women, like you create the happiness, family life, financial security, and long-term wealth they deserve. Create unstoppable finances so that when the next curveball is thrown your way... You're prepared. Click Here to Learn More

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