2016 was dedicated as my year of travel. I had gotten out of the army where travel was wherever the military decided they wanted me to go. Some countries were off-limits and there was rarely much time to travel for fun. So once I got out I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to go to places I've always longed to visit, and I knew I just had to make it happen. However, when it comes to budgeting I'm the worst at it. I very rarely save because I'm a big shopaholic. I'm big on designers and have a closet full of designer clothing and bags, but for 2017 I wanted to make a change. I want to cut back on my spending and save a bit more. My expenditure last year was just a little too much, even for me. Besides my travels which I did a lot of in 2016, I did some home renovations, which included my living-room, bathrooms and kitchen. Doing a home renovation is not cheap, so I'm now left with credit card bills that I need to pay off. That is where the EveryDollar app comes in.
Now there's a reason I've been so bad at budgeting, I've never really found a budgeting software that has truly worked for me. I have downloaded many free apps over the years and I've probably used them for about a month, before stopping. I've tried budgeting using spreadsheets, journals, but nothing has truly worked for me. I personally prefer not paying for something that is trying to save me money and was happy to see that EveryDollar is totally free. There is a paid yearly version called EveryDollar PLUS which enables you to connect your ban accounts and see your budgeting in real time. What I wanted was a budgeting tool that showed me how I could save in some departments, list how I was overspending and how I can balance that spending.
The app was super easy to setup and budgeting was not only easy, it's also adjustable. For example if you have another income it can be added. You can adjust your planned budget by altering the amounts in your income and spending categories. You use every single dollar in your budget and it manages and tracks it as you go. In less than 10 minutes I had created my first budget and it shocked me to see how much money I was spending eating out. Now you KNOW you spend a lot of money, but seeing it in hard format right in-front of you is a wake up call. After budgeting and seeing how much money I have left over after my income and expenses have been inputted, I put the extra into my savings. Part one of my goal for this year completed. Save a little bit more.
EveryDollar has been a life saver since I've been using it and the fact that I can connect it over multiple devices is a plus. So while I may use it on my iPad in my home, when I'm on the go, I use it on my phone. Now I mentioned that I'm a shopaholic. An impulse shopper is more like it. I can't not see something I like and get it. Since owning the app I have actually cut back on my spending. I open the app to see if I have any extra money to spend on it, if I can shuffle around a few things, etc, but more than often I end up passing it by. It has truly curbed my shopping habit. Yay!
I have to say that EveryDollar truly works, and I can already see my results. If you have a problem budgeting like I do, then you're going to love EveryDollar. So go and download it today!
So now that you've downloaded Every Dollar, I want to share these 5 easy ways that you can save money. After all you want to budget every dollar, because every dollar counts! Saving money doesn’t have to be stressful and you can do it even if you are living paycheck to paycheck. There is no reason why you can’t attempt to save money regardless of your annual income, so stop telling yourself that you have none to save. The key to learning how to save money when you are broke is to take note of the little pennies that pop up in your everyday life and master the skill of squirreling away those pennies. Here are 5 easy ways to save money, even if you are broke.
1. Use a Coffee Can as a Piggy Bank. Take a large coffee can, slice a slit in the top that’s large enough to sneak change into. Keep this coffee can piggy bank in the kitchen or another area that you frequently enter when returning home from a shopping trip. Upon entering your home, take all of your loose change from the day’s purchases and drop it into the piggy bank. Do this every day without dipping into the piggy bank, unless an absolute emergency arises.
2. Start Making Freezer Meals. Surf the Internet and Pinterest for ideas on how to make freezer meals from scratch. There are plenty of websites where bloggers showcase the ins and outs of freezer meal prep to include a grocery shopping list more often than not. Starting to make freezer meals will help your money last longer, because homemade freezer meals often leave you with frequent leftovers and more meals on the dollar.
3. Start Thrift Shopping Online and Off. There are many thrift and consignment stores all over the place. Try to buy designer clothing, if you must have it, at a cheaper location. There are even online consignment shops and there’s always Ebay as a go to place to buy items while saving money. You don’t need brand new items, especially if you are living on a budget. Consider opening your mind up to hand me down clothing that’s in like-new condition by shopping at these second hand type stores.
4. Get a Rewards Card. There are so many rewards programs for consumers these days. Consider looking into your favorite go to shops both online and offline to see if they have a customer rewards program. Many gas stations have rewards cards that allow you to save money on gas after spending a certain amount. Other rewards cards build up points for cash off purchases.
5. Pick up a Trade. Consider looking into sewing or refurbishing items as a means to save money when you purchase things second hand. If you pick up a trade that can be used towards fixing the used items you purchase at a thrift store or consignment shop, then you are able to save even more cash because you won’t have to pay to fix someone to fix the imperfections.
This list is meant to get your brain rolling in a whole new way as a means to learn how to easily save money, yes even when you are broke. With each of us having technology at our fingertips, there’s no reason for you not to be able to find some clever way to save a little extra cash, and don't forget to use EveryDollar to budget every single dollar, because every single dollar counts!