Updated: Apr 27
Have you ever tried to manage your money when a crisis was going on around you? Whether it was an unexpected medical emergency, your car transmission is broken, or the economy takes a turn for the worse due to the Coronavirus, we all have experienced a financial emergency that we did not plan on months before it happened.
Those emergencies can cause us to take funds from our savings account, swipe our credit card more than we wanted, or even borrow money to pay off our debts. If you find yourself in this situation, you'll know that you are not the only one. Especially during an unexpected pandemic like COVID-19. So what do you do? I have found success by following 3 simple budgeting steps from The 21 Day Budget.
This post will tell you what you need to know to make sure you manage your money right during the COVID-19 crisis or any other emergency that happens in the future.
If you're looking for a simple budgeting system to manage your money during the months employment rates have skyrocketed, sickness is spreading like a wildfire in our country, and the economies financial future seems a little bit uncertain, the best method to ensure you end up making ends meet is by beginning these simple budgeting steps:
#1 Make sure you are cutting your expenses where you can
This will encourage you to cut back in those areas that you don't see as a necessity during this time. You can use the extra cash for the next month's expenses. I had to take the time to sit and reflect on my finances two weeks ago. I realized that I would not be bringing in the same income that I had been used to in the past. I needed to sit and understand my financial situation. Then, I could make adjustments where necessary for the months to come. If you don't make adjustments, you will possibly have trouble in the upcoming months.
#2 Find extra paying jobs to help you stay afloat
One thing I know for sure, having supplemental (extra) income was always a great way of staying ahead of my bills. The extra money I earned from tutoring allowed me to save my first $1,000 and put a little extra towards my student loans each month. Talk about demolishing your student loan debt! Find ways to make extra income. Earn it and put a percentage of it towards your student loans and building an emergency fund of at least $1,000.
#3 Grab your cash envelopes to help you with your spending
The cash envelop system is one amazing way to help you stay on top of your monthly income. Why? Well, in my book The 21 Day Budget, I breakdown the benefits of using cash and allocating your finances on as spreadsheet. The cash envelope system will help you start budgeting your bills each week. Each envelope supports your journey to creating a money changing plan. They are easy ways to encourage you to stay accountable with the income you make each week or month.
#4 Join Pinterest and Get Creative
Another way to make money on the side is by starting to use your talents. Yes, you can grab a side tutoring gig or a late night shift as a Barista and make extra money. But, how awesome would it be to take some time and explore your own #talents. Then, you could begin to explore the world of #entrepreneurship. Pinterest is a great place to get your creative ideas flowing. It happens to be a search engine full of ideas from arts and crafts to home building and decor. Take a little bit of time and hop on #pinterest to explore!
#5 Join a savings challenge
Saving money is essential to seeing that you are making money. Somedays it would feel like I did not make enough money for the month. But, when I looked over my finances and spreadsheets, I realized I had over spent in an area. Instead of my saving my extra income from my side job, I sometimes spent it on food or entertainment. My best advice for you would be to grab a couple of mason jars. Label them for something you truly want to save for in the future. It can be a trip to Greece, extra student loan payments, a new car, or something small like a pair of shoes. Challenge yourself every week to save an extra $5 a day from your #budget.
#6 Take a break from shopping
In order to make more money and actually SEE it in your bank account, you have to put a pause on spending in areas that are not necessary to survive. Eliminating useless things in my life helped me learn the true meaning of long term goals. I has to put my wants to the side to help me take care of my needs. I like to think of it as, prioritizing. When you prioritize things in your life, you are simply just reorganizing and placing the most important things first. I did not deprive myself of all of the things I desired. I just put them on my list of priorities. For example, yes I wanted to go on that trip to Las Vegas with all of my friends for the summer, but it wasn't my first priority. My first priority was paying off my student loan and credit card debt.
#7 Ensure your ability to pay your bills by staying ahead
Begin your journey to becoming financially stable by beginning to budget your money so you can make adjustments to unnecessary expenses. Being ahead of your bills will give you more time to plan out what spending for the month will look like. You won't be so overwhelmed when a new bill comes in or a credit card needs to be paid. Grab a calendar and set your finances in order. The plus side is that you will be able to track your finances before you swipe your card. This will help you save money and not overspend.
#8 Any good budget should help you create a plan to make good money decisions.
This is important especially for those who need to be extra savvy during this time in our economy. While not necessary, I highly recommend reading my budgeting 101 blog and taking my free 3- Day Budgeting During A Crisis email course. There is great advice to encourage your financial growth and budgeting skills. In the meantime, make sure to begin these few steps to help you start managing your money. It can get quite overwhelming to balance a new career, workload, lifestyle, and all the other big things happening in your life. Handling your finances does not have to be one of those overwhelmingly dreadful tasks. If you wait until your bills start piling up or those students loans start coming in, there is a chance that you will overspend and that will cut into your overall savings.
#9 Cook your meals at home
Meal prepping has been a life saver. In all honesty, I was eating out multiple times a day. I would spend about $8-$10 in each meal. Well, $8 times 7 days is $56 in one week for one meal. Doesn't sound too bad? Well, then you multiple the weekly total by the number of weeks in a month. I was spending at least $224 a month on one meal a day. That is a lot of money fo one person. My weekly #budget spreadsheets helped me realize I needed to make a change in the area of food. One way I learned to do that is by meal prepping. I select my meals from #pinterest and use my grocery spreadsheet to help list the items and cost. Then, I began to cut down mo overall cost on food. I began eating healthier too!
#10 Set a savings goal with a friend
One of the best ways to help you make more money is by allowing your friends to join you on your journey to financial freedom. Ask a friend that you can count on to help you. How you might ask? Well, they can join you on the journey and participate in the savings challenge. Or, they can check up on you weekly to offer words of encouragement as you create your own savings challenge. The #savings challenge can be tons of fun!
Making extra money can be tons of fun and really help you meet your financial goals quicker!