Budgeting is something that most women, except myself, tend to really grasp. Aside from the traditional role imposed on women like the one who budgets the family finances, women have the instincts and foresight on what might happen in the future. Women often are the best and providing budgeting tips to other women, since just get it. We tend to plan ahead for the rainy days, shift finances around so that the money stretches just a bit more than it probably should.
This year has sucked entirely more in the past 8 months than I think my entire adult life has sucked to date. While we're making a little more this year, my blog has taken a hard financial hit since sponsored posts are fewer than in previous years. I do not like to push affiliate sales, because well, I hate being a salesperson. (Which is probably why I have sucked at direct sales in the past.)
If 2020 has taught me anything, it has taught me some pretty awesome budgeting tips that I would love to share with all of my readers. Not to toot my own horn, because I still do struggle a lot with budgeting, but because I want to share what I have done wrong over the years, and this year, in hopes to help you plan for better financial security.
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5 Painless Budgeting Tips for Millennial Women
Budgeting has long had negative emotions connected to it. However, budgeting is a very positive thing. When you budget, you feel better about your financial security, which means that your current and future plans will be easier to handle. When you're financially secure, you also relieve a lot of unneeded and unwanted stress, which could lead to anxiety, and I want to help you avoid both.
Cook More Meals At Home
While you may think grocery shopping and keeping a pantry or refrigerator stocked is expensive. If you have kids as I do, it can get pretty expensive, but totally worth it and really easy to fit into your budgeting. When you keep your budget for food to a manageable amount you will be amazed at home much you are saving every month on food.
Anything that is provided at a restaurant can be cooked at home. This would be a great time to get the entire family involved with the meals. Younger kids can set the tables, older kids can help cut vegetables, prepare the meats, stir, etc. Pinterest has a lot of awesome recipes that are family-friendly and do not take a lot to recreate.
The majority of the items that are staples in your home can be purchased in bulk. Spices, baking necessities, meats, etc. can all be purchased in bulk. We often go to the bulk food store and purchase half-pound up to five pounds worth of spices that we use a lot of in cooking and baking. We store them in air-tight containers and they are good for quite a while. We also buy all of our flours & granulated sugar in bulk 50lb bags and also store in food-safe air-tight containers. I know it's a lot, but when you have a husband who bakes 4 loaves of bread weekly, it is necessary to factor into your budgeting every month.
Have Date Nights, Often
You may think this goes against what I said above, but it really does not have to. It is good to get out of the house, have someone else cook for you, and enjoy a little fresh restaurant patio air. Just do it with a little bit of restraint. It is a known fact that if you have date nights or even alone time it increases serotonin which will increase your mood and reducing your stress and depression. Doing simple things can actually in turn help your budgeting since you will be less likely to impulse buy.
Put $30 a side of each paycheck for date night. You do not have to go to the 5-star restaurant downtown. You can hit up a local favorite restaurant grab a 2 for 1 dinner with the significant other and have a picnic in the park, or even go back home and eat dinner on the porch or deck. Date nights can even be free. You can head out to a local trail and walk or ride your bikes, hang out at the beach, or just walk around your neighborhood.
Child Care Co-Ops
If you have the ability to link up with families that your children go to school with, bring up forming a co-op with the families. In a co-op, parents take turns watching each other's children. One parent might watch another parent's child on, for instance, Mondays or two half-days, while another might watch the first parent's children on a weekend evening or perhaps on Thursdays. In some groups, parents take turns watching everyone else's children as a group, while in others they watch one family's children at a time. This keeps the budgeting cost of child care down and keeps kids in the hands of a caregiver that parents trust.
An added benefit to child care co-ops is that your kids grow up in a stable environment and gain a lifelong bond with people. They will learn how to trust more, different skills, and of course, get to play with their friends on a regular basis. The benefits for you are beyond the financial aspect. There may be something you just do not understand with one of the kid's school work that another parent can rock at, while they struggle, and you rock at something else.
Thrift Store & Flea Market Shopping
I love shopping at thrift stores and flea markets. There is absolutely no shame in my upcycle game. I find so many unique items that I never knew I needed. Not only can you outfit your home, but you can also outfit your entire family in some pretty awesome thrift store finds. We have gone back to school clothes shopping using thrift stores before and the kids have walked out with brand new clothes that still had the tags on from the stores.
I generally stay away from upholstered furniture unless I want to reupholster, and since I do not know how to correctly reupholster furniture, I tend to avoid them altogether because I refuse to pay someone else to do it. I have purchased dressers, curtains, tables, shelves, and countless other items from a thrift store. If it can be painted, thrown into the washer & dryer, cleaned up in the sink or bathtub, or sprayed down outside, I will purchase it. I have seen pieces at big box stores that have inspired renovated items in our homes at a fraction of the price.
Use Quality Financial Services
Financial services are important, regardless if you're on the budgeting kick or just trying to keep your money safe. No matter what bank you choose, make sure it's quality. You don't want to use a service that is not secured or protected. Credit Unions are a great way to make sure your money is safe. The best part, Credit Unions care about you, the consumer, more than making a profit.
Most Credit Unions are member-owned, meaning that they answer to you, not a bunch of bankers at a big conference table telling you how you can spend your money. You can find out more tips on budgeting and find a credit union close to you by heading over Find Credit Unions.