Money Matters: Budgeting Takes Practice

Budgeting takes practice

I don’t know about you, but every time I hear trips and tricks about saving money, the root of it all starts with budgeting. And it sounds simple enough to believe it. Make a list of all my monthly expenses and stick to those costs alone. The idea is that if we can spend less than our take home pay, we can save for a rainy day or that dream home fund. But, what these experts fail to share is that budgeting isn’t some secret ingredient the rest of us didn’t know about. Budgeting takes practice.

And a lot of practice. If you get budgeting down on your first time out, we’re donating your brain to science. Sorry, you don’t have a choice in the matter. I need to know how your mind works.

But if you’re like me and perhaps the rest of us, creating the list of expenses is the easy part. Sticking to it is the challenge. And something as trivial as dinner with friends can throw it all off kilter. Which isn’t fair, but real.

So, then, if budgeting is harder than it sounds because of surprise expenses, how can we be successful at it? Especially if we’re generating a second or third income stream?

Practice. Practice sticking to only the expenses you have to pay. Nothing more. If you’re the social butterfly but still want to budget, one of your expenses line items should either be miscellaneous or entertainment. That way you can include dinners out with friends and going to the movies as part of your budget. Ideally, you want to reduce how often you go out and spend money. If wasn’t made clear earlier, the whole point of budgeting is to save money. And spending money is the direct antithesis of saving money.

But back to the practicing of budgeting. The part we may need real help on: takes time and commitment. Chances are, we’re going to splurge on occasion. Or have an unexpected but important cost come up. It’s called life and she’s not always nice. So start practicing with weekly budgets. See if you can go one or two weeks without calling an Uber and Postmating lunch. Pay off a credit card to reduce an expense.

Want to make it exciting? The money you don’t spend, open up an high yield interest account, put the money you would normally have spent on frivolous things and save it for the end of the year. You can either treat yourself to something posh and outlandish or invest it in yourself or your future. Either way, you’ll have the money and the options to do so.

Money Matters: Cutting Back on Your Spending

As a hustler, one of our biggest obstacles is money. I mean, isn’t that the reason we got into side hustlin’ to begin with? But not just making more money, but managing it, saving it and as we all do at some point, spending it. But sometimes we forget to shift our mindset about our money from spender to saver.

One of the best ways to get in the habit of saving more of our hard earn extra greenbacks is to start cutting back on the things we’re already spending on that we don’t need.

Side hustlin’ is not about wants, it’s about needs. Supporting the needs, fulfilling the needs, saving for future needs and of course, needing to earn more. Wants go out the window (at least for a little bit).

To help you better manage your side hustlin’ money, cut back on your Starbucks or Coffeebean drinks. Skip Kindle for your books and go to the library. They got digital copies too, now. Pack snacks for on the go and lunches for work. Bring water with you wherever you go to avoid the temptation of spending on convenience store drinks. Limit your Uber or Lyft rides to a reasonable number and on a need basis per month. Shop at the Dollar Tree for office and work supplies. Need a better outfit to impress a prestigious client? Good Will. Or ThredUp. Or Poshmark. Second hand is your friend.

As you can see, whatever you need to get your side hustle off the ground and start bringing in real dollars begins with you first changing where your money goes. If you wanna see more money coming in, start by letting less money go out. Then your side hustle money will really look good. Hello!

Money Matters: The More You Can Save, The More You Can…

Invest in your side hustle. Create and improve your marketing strategies. Take workshops and seminars to add to your skillset. The more you can stow away for rainy days.

In other words, focus on saving and you can do more than you originally planned for yourself and for your side hustle. I remember reading an article a few years back stating that if people wanted to earn more money in their jobs or respective field, they should spend 10% of their monthly take home pay on professional development. Classes, workshops, seminars, whatever it is.

The problem is most of us are spenders, not savers. We pay other people first before we pay ourselves then are left in this paycheck to paycheck cycle. But you can’t do that and be successful. We gotta figure how we can put aside our “mastermind” money so we can be successful and happy. And the more we save, the better our future will be. Whether we turn that side hustle into a business or build our dream home.

But it all stars today. What we’re willing to pur away today to build for tomorrow.