Every financial expert will tell you to budget. How should you budget? Some people will tell you you need to make a bunch of different buckets of money or funds. Like you have an allowance of 400 a month for food, 40 for entertainment, 40 for laundry, etc. Other people will just pay a set percent of their paycheck into a savings account or retirement account and just spend what is left. These system may be good, but I think I have a superior one. Just spend less money!
Ok, but that isn’t really a budgeting system. So also keep track of what you spend. I am in the process of trying some budgeting apps and will report back later, but in the meantime my simple google spreadsheet works pretty well. My wife and I can both edit it and look at it at the same time. We track expenses in different categories. It can be insightful to see where our money is going. It also can be motivating to see our money grow and the fruits of our labors. I also dislike the “buckets” approach to budgeting as you may feel compelled at the end of the month to waste the remaining balance in your bucket. For example, if you have excess laundry funds, maybe you will be lazy and just take your laundry to a cleaner to have them to it for you. A Spartan lifestyle is the way to go, after all the blog is called, the Frug life!
So how can I spend less money? For me, I just don’t really eat out. Or, at least I don’t pay to eat out. At 10 bucks a lunch, eating out can cost you about 2,500 bucks a year. Depending on your area, this might be pretty significant money. Instead, I pack a lunch. I eat cheap too, lots of grains and vegetables.
For entertainment, I play video games. I almost never buy video games, I play free ones online, or use my friends. Sometimes I may buy a game for a friend, but that is about it.
In addition, I have a lot of hobbies that revolve around things I already have. For example, I play guitar once a week. Or I go to the public library to get books. Some of my hobbies even make a little money. Like blogging, like I am doing now, or writing, like for my book.
In short, I just buy what I need, and not much else. In the future I will cover in depth what I look for when I shop. I also cover some great related topics in my book, how to get spending money for amazon, how to make money with your hobbies and other great topics. Why don’t you check it out? You can also read it via kindle unlimited!
Also, if you want to see an example of the spreadsheet I use, it is here.