The Total Budget Makeover Series
The Total Budget Makeover Series will show you how you can gain complete control over your finances so you can sleep well at night and feel secure. Follow my four easy steps and simple step-by-step guide and you will be reaching your financial goals in no time. Make your money work hard for YOU instead of YOU working so damn hard for YOUR money!
Let me teach you how to think outside the box to really stretch those pennies and then watch those pennies turn into dollars with The Total Budget Makeover Series. No need to hire expensive financial advisers to tell you how to handle your money. It’s YOUR budget so YOU really are the best adviser of all!
The Total Budget Makeover Series is a four-part series broken down into four steps. I will publish one step each Sunday over the next four weeks.
I list each step below and describe in detail what you can expect to learn from The Total Budget Makeover Series.
Step # 1 – What can you actually afford?
You will be surprised at how much money we actually waste when we don’t track our spending and set a realistic budget. I didn’t set a budget for myself for years because of the fear of how restricting it could be. I was afraid of losing my freedom to spend but what I came to realize was that having a budget actually had the opposite effect It gave me peace of mind, more control over my finances and more money to save.
Step # 2 – The Envelope Spending System
Remember that this is The Total Budget Makeover Series so you will completely change your spending and budgeting habits. The envelope spending system will help you make sure you only spend what’s in your budget and once it’s gone – it’s gone. You will have to find other “creative” ways to finance additional spending for “extras.”
I will offer a free downloadable spreadsheet that you can use to help you with building your budget system as well as an easy to follow step-by-step guide to get you all set up and on your way to meeting your financial goals. Your budget will be personally tailored to you and your needs.
My step-by-step guide shows you how to calculate your yearly, monthly and weekly budgets. When you know how much money really comes in and how much money actually goes out then you can make better informed decisions about how to plan for your financial future.
Many of us have the desire to “live within our means” but maybe we just aren’t there yet and some of us have no idea where to begin. My step-by-step guide breaks it all down into small attainable goals that you can easily reach. We sometimes fall victim to thinking we need to earn more money in order to be happy. Having a budget will eliminate this “stinking thinking” mentality and kick it to the curb, where it belongs!
Deprivation not necessary
Having a budget is NOT about depriving yourself, rather it’s more about setting reasonable limits so that you can do more of what you really want to.
If my family wants to go out to eat instead of cooking at home then we have to find frugal meals to cover that additional weekly cost. Take a look at my Money Saving Recipes for budget friendly tasty meal ideas that leave your tummy and wallet full! Dump Chicken Soup is one of my absolute favorites!
I think it’s actually kind of fun to get creative with our cooking and I feel like it’s a weekly challenge to see just how much I can save so we can splurge on a family meal to Panda Express or Wingstop. It’s amazing how much more we actually appreciate the meal itself because we did so much creative work to find a way to work it into the budget.
Step # 3 – “Creative” financing
I will share all of my tips, tricks and hacks to couponing and shopping in all areas of your life. You will get to keep more money in your spending envelope and treat yourself or your family to “extras.”
My yearly budget doesn’t always offer an ample clothing budget for my family of five so I show you the ways that I get creative and add to my funds. We also have a yearly vacation budget but we get really creative to stretch it further while still having a good time.
Entertaining your kids for the summer is practically free as I share my secrets to signing up for free bowling, skating and movies in the summer while the kids are out of school. Keep in mind that all of these programs are not available in all areas of the US.
There are plenty of events in your local area to engage and entertain your kids that cost little to nothing at all. You just might not have noticed them before I point them out to you.
There’s no more of the “robbing Peter just to pay Paul mentality!” The difference is in your attitude about spending rather than about how much money you actually spend.
Creative financing is actually fun and addictive once you get the hang of it. It’s not about becoming a miser or dumpster diving although I freely admit that I have found some treasures diving in dumpsters and in curbside freebies! I like to think of creative financing as problem solving with a spin.
Step # 4 – Maintaining Control and Saving Money
Now that you have organized your budget and started using the envelope system you will still need a few tips to help you maintain control so you can pay off debts or save money. You will find that the longer you follow the budget, the more money you will save over time. Developing a few key habits will keep you on track and help you stay motivated to reach those goals.
It will now be easy to build an emergency fund or nest egg. If you have a heavy load of debt like student loans, then you can pay off those balances faster with this budget system and be on your way to growing sizable savings. The idea is to pay yourself first and keep more of your money and then turning around and making that money work for you. You’re the master and money is your slave! So get ready to crack that whip!
If anyone is to blame, it’s Mr. Budget/Miss Cents/Sir Finances/Lady Funds
Give your budget a proper name and when one member of the family, yourself included, asks to make a purchase outside of the budget then you have a scape goat and you won’t be the bad guy staring down the barrel of guilt. This works really well with my 9 and 6 year olds.
Either or both child will ask me, “Mommy, can I have a (insert ridiculously expensive toy here)?”
My answer to them, “Oh I am so sorry sweetie, but I asked Mr. Budget and he said he was sorry because he didn’t have enough to buy it. As a matter of fact, he didn’t have anything left in the envelope.” I then pull out the weekly spending envelope and show them that it is as I said, empty. The whole idea is that no one can point fingers or do the guilt-glare because the person asking understands and agrees that additional purchases have to be made within the set budget.
But here’s the kicker, it’s always empty because the money is in my wallet and no longer in the envelope! But they don’t have to know that, right? The money that was set aside in that envelope was allocated for groceries and gas for the week. My yearly toy budget is set with their Christmas and Birthday funds, which is set aside to purchase their gifts for these occasions.
My children earn a weekly allowance over their summer vacation and they receive various gifts of money from relatives throughout the year. I teach them that can save the money they earn and spend it however they choose, to include purchasing toys for themselves, but once it’s gone, it’s gone.
I will be discussing how and why including your children in the family financial planning is vital to teaching them good budgeting, spending and saving habits early on.
Creative Financial Coaching
I am a Certified Professional Life Coach and I offer creative financial coaching services. Click here to read all the details about the services I offer.
My Creative Coaching Services include creating your personal family budget, designing your own budget spreadsheets and personal one-on-one teaching of the methods, tips and tricks I use to manage my budget and save money.
These coaching services make for great gift ideas for graduates and newlyweds who might need some direction and help in managing money for their future.
Additionally my coupon coaching services can help you create instant disposable income without having to get a second job. Not to mention finding support and common interests by connecting with people who want the same thing you want – to spend less and save more with good deals.
Coach Emily’s Recommended Reading
I recommend reading Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover if you want to quickly eliminate debt. His snowball method really works to knock out debt fast. He includes spreadsheets and extensive budget worksheets in his book to help you see how long it will take you to get debt free.
The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason is a short but good read. We learn the true secret to wealth and it’s not by earning more, it’s by making smarter choices consistently. The book lists the 8 vital fundamentals of wealth building and you might be surprised at simple these habits really are.
The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley was a total jaw-dropping and eye-opening read for me. I grew up hearing that you had to be born rich, incredibly lucky or work really hard and do evil deeds just to gain total financial freedom. Little did I know that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The author did extensive research and asked hundreds of self-made millionaires their secrets to achieving wealth and creating financial independence. There is also a really nice audio sampling of the book available for listening when you click on the link to Amazon.
You will be shocked to know that these wealthy folks really don’t look, behave or spend the way we envision in our minds. If you only read one book this year, let it be this one! You will see how everything I am sharing with you in The Total Budget Makeover Series is setting you up and on your path to achieving your financial dreams!
This post contains affiliates links to various advertisers. I may/will receive compensation from purchases made through my links or clicks to the ads. The opinions and recommendations to these products are my own. To see my full disclosure policy click here.