Good news, Okies! According to Apartment Guide, Oklahoma Cityand Tulsa are two of the top 10 budget-friendly cities in America! Woot, woot! This bodes well for my Okla-homies that have made resolutions to save more money/be more budget-minded.
But just how do you become more budget-friendly?
Let me tell you what works for me. Personally, I really like the teachings from Dave Ramsey.
I took Financial Peace University twice: once when I was single and then after Huff the Hubs and I got married. (I think EVERY engaged couple should take this class together. It really helps you to get in the mindset of “I need to make sure I communicate with my partner about finances!”).
Shortly after we got married, we followed Dave’s debt snowball plan. We got our $20K student loan debt paid off in a year and a half! (Actually, it may have just been 13 months…)
Now, we rely heavily on the envelope system and pay in cash for everything (except the stuff I buy from ThinkGeek). Every time I get paid, I separate out my funds to the different things I need to put money toward:
Investments (Roth IRA)
The good thing about this is, I can see exactly where my money is going. Plus, I can show it to Huff the Hubs so we can have an open and honest communication about our finances. That is KEY.
Plus, every time we get paid, we both put money in our “Restaurant Fund Folder” so we can go out to eat and we’re both contributing. And, if we run out, we run out and we eat at home. We also take money out to “pay ourselves back” (i.e., our Slush Fund) and we can use that money on anything we want without any judgment from each other. (When I was preggers, my Slush Fund was a literal slush fund. Seriously, I probably stopped at 7-11 everyday for a slushie.)
This system works really, really well for us. Neither one of us like using debit cards (we’ve both gotten into trouble with those in the past) and when I pay in cash, I’m more aware of what I’m spending my money on and I’m more likely to say “Eh, I don’t really need this,” so I can save my money.
You’ve just got to find what works best for you. Some people spend more money when they have cash and like debit cards because they can check their stuff online. You just have to tinker around a bit and see how you and your household will work best. It will take a little trial and error, but I guarantee you, you can do it!