6 Easy Budgeting Tips ANYONE Can Do
Rainy Day fund.
There’s a million ways to describe that “secret stash” of cash people keep hidden in their drawers, jars, and envelopes, but it all means the same thing: It’s money you can rely on when you need it most.
Historically, emergency funds have been especially important for women who relied on their husbands for household income, or were in relationships where withholding money was used as a form of control.
In fact, one of our team members, Rosie, told us she refers to her emergency stash as “Running Away Money,” which was inspired by a story from her childhood:
“When I was about 8 years old, I was helping my mother put away the laundry when I found a small bank book in her underwear drawer. When I asked her what it was, she told me it was the account where she kept her ‘Running Away Money.’
She went on to explain that every woman should have a secret bank account with an emergency pool of money available should it be needed. In the Good Old days before Internet banking and debit cards, a great place to hide these funds was in your underwear drawer, as very few husbands did the laundry back then.”
While that’s a story from the past and women today are in a much different place, the idea of having an emergency fund is still a smart strategy for all people, regardless of gender.
In the case of Rosie, she came up with her own set of budgeting “rules” she uses to stay on the path to financial wellness.
If you’re looking to save a few bucks for your family, consider adding Rosie’s Rules into your savings routine as a simple way to get started.
Rosie’s 6 Rues for Financial Wellness
#1: Track EVERY Cent
Everyone underestimates their spending habits, which is why it’s so important to track every penny so you can see exactly how much you’re spending. Get a notebook or download an app to track your spending every time you spend even a cent. Knowing is better than guessing!
#2: Skip the Fees
When you need to withdraw cash, go directly to your bank’s ATM — don’t waste your hard-earned cash on ATM fees that are completely unavoidable.
#3: Use Cash, Not Plastic
Whenever possible, use cash (as in physical money) to make purchases. Plastic credit and debit cards take away from the reality of spending your hard-earned money.
#4: Put Barriers Between You and Your Credit Card
For example, freeze your credit card (literally freeze it in a bag of water) so that you’re forced to defrost your card before any impulse credit card purchases. If you’re interested, the book Wealthing Like Rabbits has a few suggestions on how to make credit card use a challenge!
#5: Shop Smart
Before you shop, make a grocery list and stick to that list! Avoid shopping when you’re upset or hungry. Both of these methods will help you keep unnecessary and extra food out of your cart (and money in your wallet)!
#6: Live Within Your Means
Don’t spend more than you earn and pay yourself first by saving 10-20% of your salary. Use the 50/30/20 rule to guide you[a]. It really is that simple!
Ready to put Rosie’s Rules into action?
The first step is to set a goal for your Emergency Fund and to make a list of how you’re going to make it happen, whether it’s following the rules above or coming up with your own.