Inspired Budget

#128: How to Balance a Budget and a Busy Life

October 19, 2023 Allison Baggerly Episode 128
Inspired Budget
#128: How to Balance a Budget and a Busy Life
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever feel like your budget is a monstrous task that just can't fit into your already bursting schedule? I hear you, and today, we're going to tackle this beast together.

I'm gifting you five practical steps to integrate budgeting into your life without feeling overwhelmed. Let's redefine budgeting as an essential part of your routine and set a specific money day each month to manage your finances. Together, we'll figure out how to squeeze budgeting into your hectic schedule and secure a financially stable future.

But we're not stopping there. The second half of today's episode is dedicated to all the multitaskers out there striving to balance their budget amidst a bustling life. Learn how time-blocking your day, seeking support, and celebrating small victories can make budgeting a priority amidst a busy life. 

Let's walk this path together, finding ways to make budgeting work amidst the chaos. Remember, it's not about finding spare time; it's about making time for what matters. So, let's get to it!

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Speaker 1:

But when we get home, all of a sudden, everything is on our mind. We are focused on the 10, 20, 30 things that we have to do and mentally it is exhausting. So to help you from being mentally exhausted and trying to think about all the things you need to do at once, I want you to assign specific blocks of your time to specific activities. Hey, this is Allison and welcome to the Inspire Budget Podcast, where we talk all things budgeting and saving money. Today I'm addressing a very heartfelt question from someone named Amanda. She is a working mom and she's asking me questions about the challenges of consistent budgeting amidst the daily hustle and grind. In this episode, we're going to be exploring the art of balancing budgets as a working mom. We're going to uncover strategies to manage your money without feeling super overwhelmed and tips for efficient time management and ways to weave budgeting seamlessly into your life that, let's be honest, sometimes feel tactic. So let's dive in. I want to start by just addressing the question that Amanda sent into me. She said Allison, how do you handle the pressure of budgeting every day, week, month, and how do you carve out the time? As a working mom who is managing kids and running a household.

Speaker 1:

I know many of you, just like Amanda, are wearing multiple hats. You might be a working mom. You're not just a professional If you're a mom, you are a caregiver, a teacher, a chef, a driver, so much more. The list goes on. And even if you're not a mom, there seems to always be something pulling at our attention when it comes to life. Amidst all of these responsibilities, finding the time and just mental space for budgeting can feel very daunting. However, I will say that achieving financial stability and clarity is so important, not just for you, but for the little ones looking up to you. Ensuring a secure financial future while managing today's expenses is a challenge, there's no doubt about it, but it's something that is incredibly important and unfortunately, I do feel like it's something that many people put on the back burner or it just falls to the bottom of their priority list. And I get it Because, a mom, it is so much easier for me to put off writing a budget than put off getting my kids lunches ready for school or driving them to and from soccer practice or doing any of the other things that are just staring me in the face. So sometimes it's easier to just put that budgeting thing down to the bottom of the priority list, but if we continue to do that, then we're finding that that becomes a pattern in our life. So how do we do this? How do we balance working on our money, writing a budget, setting financial goals amidst a busy life? Well, you know me. I like to give you actionable steps that you can walk away with, so I'm going to be sharing five things that you can do to balance budgeting and life. Let's dive into them.

Speaker 1:

The first thing you can do is to reframe the way you are seeing budgeting. Instead of seeing budgeting or working on your money as this chore, this thing that falls to the bottom of your list and you know you continually don't have time to do it right. It's something that you often either say I'll work on that tomorrow or another day, or you have the greatest intentions, and then your kids just need more emotional or mental or physical support from you. That day it falls to the bottom of the list. So, instead of seeing it as a chore, I want you to set a specific money day each month dedicated to reviewing and making adjustments for your budget. Here's the way I see it. Money is so important. It impacts every single aspect of our life. It seeps into every decision we make and it comes back to everything we're doing with our kids, and so we can't just ignore our money and say we're going to work on it later. I want you to reframe budgeting and stop seeing it as this thing that you're just going to kind of fit in the cracks and crevices of your life, because otherwise, if you do that, it's just not going to happen. So instead I want you to set a specific money day. That looks like choosing a day on your calendar where you don't have anything else going on, you're not running errands. You know that you can work your life around this day, this one hour, to work on your money. I want you to set it as something important. Just like you wouldn't miss your children's dentist appointment or you wouldn't miss your annual appointment to go to your doctor, I don't want you to miss this appointment. The joy is that when you're doing it every single month, you're not overwhelmed because you're not trying to catch up from months of missing this money day. So this is exactly what we do.

Speaker 1:

We have these shorter meetings every Sunday, my husband and I, where we get on the same page, sometimes about our budget, or who's picking up the kids which day from different activities, who is making dinner, what we're having for dinner. We talk about all of those things and we also talk about our money. Now, these meetings can be as short as 15 minutes, 10 to 15 minutes and as lengthy as an hour. It just depends, really, what's going on in our life at the time. But then every month we have these times where we really sit down and we talk more about our budget and our spending and we're looking at our money picture on the whole a little bit deeper, by reframing our budgeting and saying, hey, this is going to hold weight in my schedule and in my life. We no longer find ourselves just trying to fit it in whenever we feel like we have time because, guess what, as busy parents, we don't have time.

Speaker 1:

Now I want to share what one of my inner circle members does. My inner circle membership is just a money membership meant for women, specifically for women, to help them just follow a step by step plan to write a budget, pay off debt and save money. We have accountability, we have a private Facebook group and in this accountability group, amanda shared a win and her win was that over the weekend she did the core lesson on the family business meeting and then they had a family business meeting on Sunday morning with everyone. She said it feels good to have meals planned out and know our activities. We were able to relax and enjoy the rest of Sunday, and that is what it's all about, right?

Speaker 1:

I don't want you working on your money every single day of your life for the rest of your life. I don't want it kind of in the back of your mind, bothering you saying, oh my gosh, I know I need to talk about this, I know I need to work on this, I know I need to spend time on this. Instead, I want you to choose a time, dedicate it, reframe it and see it as, hey, I'm just going to have this one time for this thing and then, that way, you can focus on the rest of the things that you want to do. My second tip for you when it comes to balancing your budget amidst a busy life is to use technology to your advantage. Let me tell you we are so lucky to have technology that can work for us and help us make our entire money situation easier.

Speaker 1:

I remember, growing up, my mom. I would watch her balancing her checking account with her pen and her little checkbook ledger, writing checks and mailing checks to her mortgage company and electric company, and all of these things every single month. That took a lot of time, energy, effort on her part, but now, thanks to technology, we can do the same things in so much less time. So I want you to see that technology is actually on your side. You can start by just finding simple apps that help you track your budget or your spending automatically. I know that a lot of people love YNAB. You need a budget, I've heard I've never used it, but I've heard that it takes a little bit of getting used to, but you can even use apps like Co-Pilot or Mint. There are so many apps out there that will automatically categorize your spending, so that way, you're aware of your money even better. I personally use Quickin, a software tool on my computer, to track my spending and to reconcile my checking account every single month, so that's what I do.

Speaker 1:

This whole goal here, though, is to use technology to your advantage. Set up your bills on auto pay, set up your sinking funds to automatically come out of your checking account every single month. This is what we do we have automatically every single month I wanna say it's on the fifth of the month $350 comes out of our checking account and into our savings account. $175 goes into our Christmas and holiday fund and $175 goes into our HOA dues and flood insurance fund. That way, when those things come up, we already have the money set aside. I'm not having to go manually schedule these transactions every single month. They're happening in the background. So use technology to your advantage because, as a busy mom, let me tell you, it saves me time, sanity and I just know I tend to forget things, and if I have it set up on autopilot, I'm not gonna forget it. I'm not gonna make that mistake. I'm not gonna forget it.

Speaker 1:

Today's episode is brought to you by my budget to build wealth. Here's the truth. I do not believe actually I refuse to believe that wealth is just for the rich. I believe that wealth can be built on a budget without sacrificing what you love to spend money on. I fully believe that budgeting is the quickest, most effective way for you to reach your money goals. So, whether your goal is to stop living paycheck to paycheck, pay off those student loans that have been hanging over your head, or find room in your budget every single month, so that way you can start investing for your future. You're going to need a guide, a plan to get yourself there, which is exactly what I'm sharing in my free training budget to build wealth. In this training, I'm gonna be sharing three massive mistakes that people make with their budget and their financial plan, so that way you can avoid them. I'm gonna be sharing with you the secret to freeing up more money in your budget each month, so that way you can send extra money to your goals, and I'm going to be sharing with you my tried and true four step framework to budgeting your way to wealth without giving up what you love. Plus, there is a very special free gift for anyone who stays until the end. You can sign up by going to inspiredbudgetcom slash class or just click the link in my show notes. You'll be able to choose a time that works for your schedule and I'll see you there.

Speaker 1:

My third tip for balancing your budget amidst a very busy life is to time block your lifetime, block your day for specific tasks. The truth is that when we go into work Right, when we go into an office and we are working the expectation is that our mind is fully focused on our job. We're not supposed to be thinking about everything else going on at home or anything else. I'm not saying we always do that, but that is the goal, right. Well, when we get home, all of a sudden everything is on our mind. We are focused on the 10, 20, 30 things that we have to do, and mentally it is exhausting. So to help you from being mentally exhausted and trying to think about all the things you need to do at once, I want you to assign specific blocks of your time to specific activities. For instance, maybe Sunday afternoon you have a two hour time period where you say I'm going to prep all of my lunches for the week, because I know that whenever it comes time in the morning and I need to grab my lunch and go to work, the last thing I want to do is prep a meal because I overslept or I had to get my kids off to school. So if you can block out time on Sunday afternoon to tackle that for the whole week, you're making your life easier for yourself. So just like you can do that with meal planning, we can do that with budgeting as well, if you know that you're getting paid coming up and you need to write out a budget time, block a specific time out of your schedule and say, for this hour of this day, I'm going to work on my budget and my money tasks and make it a priority.

Speaker 1:

Now I want to give a shout out to another member in my inner circle, jaleesa, and I think that she has really shown that taking time for tasks like this can have such a massive impact on your life. She shared recently that she's learning on this journey, that it takes time to go through her bank statements to, kind of you know, see the patterns in her spending, and it takes time to go through our core lessons. But she says I take it day by day and don't give up. She said I'm learning to change my bad behavior with money and it's not easy, it's stressful, but I won't give up. I see a better future for myself and my family. And that's the thing. When we have spent years and years of our life treating money, interacting with money or having a relationship with money in a way that hurts us, that doesn't help us, it's going to take time to slowly change our relationship with money. It takes time, it takes energy, but I promise it is worth it. So one thing you can do amidst a busy life is to block out time to work on your money, so you can work on creating that healthier relationship with money.

Speaker 1:

My fourth tip is a really big one, and it is to seek support. Here's the deal when you have kids, when you're a working mom, when you have a busy life no matter what your current life looks like if it feels busy, then you have to be willing to ask for help. You have to be willing to ask a partner or a family member or a friend and just say, hey, I really need help with X, y and Z. Delegate a task to them so that you have more energy, time and mental load available to work on your budget or work on your money. You can even do this with older kids. You can say, hey, kids, I need you to work on this so that I can work on this budget, and you're also welcome to involve them in that budgeting process as well and maybe even start delegating some of those things to them, like making a meal plan or writing out what they want in terms of snacks and lunches and adding that to the grocery list so that you can figure out what your grocery budget needs to be for that week. No one knows we need support unless we ask for it. So I want to encourage you to reach out for support from your partner, your family, your friends and even your children, so that you can focus and have the time and energy to work on your budget.

Speaker 1:

My fifth and final tip for balancing your budget amidst a busy life is to celebrate small wins. I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel like I'm just on this moving train called life and I've gotten on the train and people are coming in and off the train at the stops and I'm moving forward and I'm making plans and I'm doing things and life is happening, and sometimes I forget to stop, pause and just say, hey, look at what I've accomplished, look at what we have done. I want you to be able to stop the train and Celebrate, celebrate your small wins. If you hit a savings goal, I want you to take time to recognize it. Maybe you just write it on a sticky note and you can just say I'm proud that I blank. I'm proud that I set aside $1,000 in savings. I'm proud that I created a debt payoff plan. I'm proud that I took Allison's free budgeting class. I'm proud that I reduced my grocery bill. Just celebrate these things. These are the things that are gonna keep you motivated to stay on track.

Speaker 1:

Now I wanna share some wins, some small celebrations from three inner circle members that I thought were just amazing, and it's just an example of how we can try to find things to verbalize that we're proud of, because I don't think we do that often enough. So this one comes from Michelle. She said I told my friend that I didn't have extra money to go out because it was already budgeted for something else. And I explained to her how I'm working to pay off debt and she her friend replied is being debt free even a thing that can happen at our age? And Michelle says it made me realize how much my mindset on money and debt has changed in just the last six months. It's changed for the better. That is a win. Recognizing that you're thinking about money differently and that it's just this natural way to see money in a healthier light. That is a win. I want you to celebrate those wins as you have them.

Speaker 1:

The next win comes from Michelle, and she said I started a new job and ate almost the whole week at home for dinner and lunch. That is a big win for me. I didn't spend money on an unnecessary item. So tonight I'm ordering in so I can rest. I love this because it is so relatable. I think that one of the best ways to control our budget and our spending is to tackle food and how we spend money on food both groceries and restaurants and so setting a goal to cook at home certain amount of nights of the week is a wonderful thing, so that way you can celebrate by Friday and order pizza, order takeout, go out to dinner and rest. That is a wonderful way to celebrate your efforts from the entire week.

Speaker 1:

The last one I wanna share from you comes from Amber, and she says I wanna celebrate a mindset change. I found out about a bonus coming for work and, instead of finding things to spend it on, I figured out how much I can send to debt and how much I can send to savings. That's not even a small win. I think that's a big win to be able to see those increases and incomes and those bonuses differently, because you know that you are prioritizing your future and your future self. So there you have it five things you can help to balance your budget and your money journey with a busy life.

Speaker 1:

Now, amanda, who wrote in with the initial questions, I hope that this helps you. I just wanna go over them really quickly one more time. The first one is to reframe budgeting in your mind and to set a specific money day each month dedicated to budgeting and working on your money. The second tip is to use technology for good, because it is here to stay and it can make our life easier. The third tip is to time block for tasks in your life, especially when it comes to working on your money. The fourth is to seek support and ask for help when it comes to delegating other tasks so that you can work on your money, or even delegating some of your budgeting tasks. And the fifth is to celebrate your wins along the way.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much for joining me today on the Inspire Budget Podcast. Now, remember you are not alone in this money journey and every step you take towards better budgeting is a win in your life. So if you have any tips or success stories, or you simply wanna share something you're proud of when it comes to your budget or your money, I want you to send me a DM on Instagram. I'm at Inspire Budget over on Instagram. Please send me a DM. I wanna hear from you and if you enjoyed today's episode, please leave a rating or review. Wherever you are listening to this podcast, it just helps other people find the Inspire Budget Podcast when they are scrolling for new podcasts to listen to. As always, I'll be back next week with another brand new episode coming to you on Thursday. I'll see you then. Bye.

Balancing Budgeting as a Working Mom
Balancing Budget in a Busy Life