It’s amazing how people struggle finding a healthy and balanced way to budget, myselfincluded. I make a decent paycheck and I think that it should be more than enough to find aplace, support my son, and just get by. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.Hi, my name is Abby and I blog at Dirt on the Rocks. Thanks to Anika for the opportunity to writea guest post for her blog about budget living.The word “budget” can be a tough term to define. In today’s economy, a dollar can be wortheverything. As a single mom, I think that my paycheck should be sufficient to support myself andmy little man, and I wonder sometimes why it’s not.It’s hard enough to budget, even more so when it comes to saving. Wouldn’t it be moreenjoyable if you were able to budget your daily expenses, your lifestyle, and enjoy your lifewithout struggling? If there is one thing that I know for sure it is that I love to spend money. Iwould love to shop almost every chance I get and that is definitely not healthy, especially for asingle mother like struggling to make ends meet.It is important to have a budget with every paycheck. This gives you a very strong idea ofwhat you need to plan for. Knowing what your bills are and when they are due also gives youthe ability to spread out your payments throughout the month. If you are learning how to savemoney, you should know what your bank offers in terms of savings accounts. Sure, going oldschool and putting money in a box would be good, but that doesn’t earn you any interest. Itwould just be money sitting there and waiting to be spent. Save every chance you get! Someaccounts require minimum deposits and balances each month, but there are options out therethat do not, or that only require that you make a $50.00 deposit each month to avoid fees. Ithink that $50.00 is reasonable, and if you not $50.00, start with $25. Making an effort in doingsomething will push you to continue doing it especially when you see progress.Control your spending. I love shopping, and learning to budget teaches you how to save, howto control your spending, and how to show some financial responsibility. Love to shop? Put alittle money aside each month as your “fun money,” or “shopping money,” and once your billsare paid and priorities are taken care of, you’ll know exactly what you have to spend. Make a listof all the things that you know you want to purchase, whether for you or your family. Take a dayout of the month to go on that special shopping trip, guilt-free.Last, but not least, look for deals. Everyone loves to go out to a nice place and enjoy a goodmeal once in a while. Perhaps you like to go grocery shopping weekly. Does your car need anoil change or a tune-up? I suggest looking for coupons, deals, and sales and keeping themorganized for when you need them. If you have a smart phone there are so many available appsout there that you can instantly have on the go with you. My grandparents taught me that it doesnot matter whether you save a buck, a hundred bucks, or a thousand bucks. Whatever you endsaving is money back into your pocket for something that matters. It’s definitely a good way tolive your life. Being frugal and smart now means you have control over what you spend and buylater.Abby is 23 and a single mother living in Southern California trying to make ends meet. She is a freelance blogger whose clients include UMoveFree.com, an apartment-finding service for locating uptown Dallas apartments. Abby loves spending time with her son and is constantly learning new things about him as each day passes by. In her blog, Dirt on the Rocks Abby writes about food and life. Like many single moms, Abby finds that her life experiences are both daunting and inspiring, and her blog reflects these experiences.
Guest Post: Drop That Dime