Earlier this year Nick and I were able to pay off your students loans, you can read all about that here! We did it mostly by planning out a monthly budget and then sticking to it. I thought I’s share a little more in depth about how we plan out each month’s budget.
The website we use is called everydollar.com, it’s free to use and I can’t recommend it enough. You have to set it up on a computer, but once your account is set up you can download the app and use it on your phone. Nick and I always sit down the last week of the month to set up our budget for the following month.
Step One: Calculate what your income for the month will be. Nick’s is basically always the same; however, mine in changing based on how many classes I’m teach or if I’ve picked up any odd jobs.
Step Two: Figure out all your bills and add those into your budget. We always put in Rent, Tithe, Electricity, Cell Phone, Car Payment, Internet, Groceries, Gas, Baby Needs and Savings.
Step Three: What ever is left you can put in your fun categories. We have restaurants, entertainment, and miscellaneous categories.
The goal is to have zero dollars left over after you’ve made your budget. This way you’re telling each and every dollar where to go. Then through the month as you make purchased you can update them in the app to make sure you’re staying on track.
I try to challenge myself each month and any leftover money that doesn’t get spend in a certain category just put into savings. For example we typically budget $100 for eating out, but if we can keep it to only $70 an extra $30 goes into savings.
There are some things to keep in mind with your budget, sometimes you need to add categories like taxes, vacation, car repairs, or doctor bills. I truly believe that getting your family on a budget is the fastest way to start paying down your debt and increase your savings.