Couple Money

How to Create an Automated Yet Flexible Budget

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How are you feeling about your progress this year with your financial goals? Are you frustrated because you're not hitting them as fast as you had hoped? Do you feel like managing money is a chore? Believe it or not, these problems are connected.

Today, I'm going to break down and show you how to build a flexible financial system that will get you to your goals faster!

Keeping Your Budget Flexible and Fun

Recently I had a chat with rich Jones for the  Paychecks and Balances Podcast.

The theme of our discussion was managing finances when undergoing a life transition, but it quickly widen out and scope. After my chat with Rich, our discussion stuck with me.

Having written about personal finance for 12 years and podcasting, a little over half that time, I noticed a certain rhythm with people in their interests and finances.

Beginning of the year, it's all about setting up these big goals, paying off debt, saving up for a huge house down payment.

For some, it truly is the beginning of an awesome year. They get these new habits set up. They have their systems in place.

Others though, they're already having a hard time keeping up those habits, part of it is life shifts.

Between January and to about April when I look on my side of things with site traffic, And Google searches, that's when people are most interested in their finances.

Further into the year, no matter what camp you're in the seasons change and life rolls on.

With September zooming by and the last quarter coming up. I find it's another point in the year where we reflect. We have this many awareness that the year's wrapping up. We're reviewing how much we've accomplished.

Now on top of the regular seasonal changes in the year. We still have the COVID pandemic that we're dealing with.

Rather than fight the seasonal shifts or craft these perfect on paper budgets, but they fall apart during real life pivots, we have to address a fundamental issue -building a sustainable and flexible system for handling your finances so that you can live your life and if something happens adjust as needed.

Instead of chasing money as the target or the goal really should be using it as a tool.

In this episode, we're going to break that down so that you can create a financial system that is easy to maintain and adjust and have a sustainable budget that's flexible and fun.

Are you ready? Let's get started!

Handy Tools to Build a Flexible Budget

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Key Takeaways on Building a Sustainable Budget

As I was putting together this episode, I came away with a few key takeaways.

The first is define your priorities, then your goals. It sounds obvious to talk about starting with your why, but really this is a step that, that gets glossed over and it hurts you in the long run.

Goals can shift and change depending on the season of life and where you are in your financial journey.

If you sit down and discuss your priorities and values, not only will that help you craft goals, but when opportunities come up, you see if they are opportunities you want to pursue or aren't a good fit for you.

The second is work backwards with your goals. Once you define what goal it is, whether it is to pay off debt.

Save for a down payment on a home or starting a business. Or getting ready to start a family. When you have that goal in mind. You can then work backwards to see what do we need to do to get our finances in a good spot for that?

With the down payment, it's easier. You could calculate. What's the range that we can afford for a house. And how much do we need to put down for that down payment?

If it is a more family goal, Then you can talk with those in your circle that have reached that stage and see, well, what were the financial expenses involved? What were some things that they didn't anticipate that they wish they did? Getting that general idea or a ballpark of what you need to save, puts you ahead of the game.

So then you can see about how long is this going to take timeline wise for us to hit these goals?

Finally, you want to set up systems to make it easy to track your progress with these goals? And it doesn't matter if you want to go digital, if you prefer to have a visual way to track your goals. Paper and pen. This is up to you and what you prefer. And I'll include some of my favorite tools that we've used as well as some of our friends in the space.

That have hit their financial goals. The important thing is that you find something that's sustainable for you. When you do your monthly money dates, it's easier to keep tabs on your progress. And if you have a setback, Easier to get back on the path.

And you don't want to overlook the power of support in community. So, if you want to chat with others that are working on their family, financial goals this year, Don't forget to join our free and private Facebook group thriving families.

Were there to help each other out. We swapped stories, tips, and tools that have made a difference. You can find us over at simplifying. enjoy.com/f B. We'd love to see you there.

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Photo by Brady Knoll from Pexels

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