This goes without saying, but I need to say it anyways: you need a budget. Every woman needs a budget. Hashtag budget goals! It doesn’t matter if you think you make too much money or too little money. It doesn’t matter if you have debt or don’t have debt. It doesn’t matter if you weren’t taught how to budget. We all need a budget. The reason being is that a budget gives us the information we need to know to make wise decisions with our money.
A budget, when created appropriately, tells you what money is coming in, what money is going out and what money is left over. We get to allocate that left over money to our goals, the things we enjoy and anything else. When you know what you should be doing with your money, it makes it much easier to do what you’re supposed to…allowing you to avoid overspending and steadily work towards your goals.
So, let’s go ahead and assume you already have a budget plan. Sidebar: if you don’t, download my free Monthly Budget Overview Tracker to at least get something going. Since you already have a budget, let’s make sure it’s set up for success! Keep reading for 6 budget goals every woman should have or work towards!
6 Budget Goals Every Woman Should Have
#1 Invest in a budget created or reviewed by a third party
When it comes to creating your own budget, there are a few extra hurdles most people have to get through. First, a lack of education around how to create a budget. They don’t (usually) teach budgeting in school and most people don’t learn from their parents. So, when they venture out to create their own budget, they have no idea what they’re doing – now that’s not to say people can’t learn…I sure did, but there’s often a learning curve.
Another hurdle most women have to get through when creating their own budget is bias. It’s so hard to keep a level head when mapping out what your income should be doing. Allocating income is often the hardest part of budget creation that people struggle with. Once again, anyone can get through the hurdle, but it may take some time.
If either of those situations happened to you (or continue happening to you), a good budget goal could be for you to invest in having a budget created by a third party. I create budget plans for clients. The clients provide me with their financial details, and I create a budget based on their situation and goals. It takes the guesswork out of what the client should be doing with their money. I’m also a professional finance coach, so they can trust my allocation recommendations.
#2 Complete a thorough month end budget review
Another budget goal every woman should have is to make sure they complete a thorough budget and spending review at the end of every month. I like to call these “Money Pulse Checks”. I used to go live every month sharing my pulse check results. While I no longer go live for these pulse checks, I do still complete them.
Looking at the status of your budget, spending, and savings goals at the end of each month gives you information to help you tailor your next month’s budget. You’ll know if there are certain spending areas that need more attention, if you’re on track with your goals, and more. This information is not only motivating, but eye-opening as women learn to love budgeting.
Here’s my last budget review video:
#3 Steadily add “non-negotiables” into your budget
A budget “non-negotiable” is something you include in your budget because it brings you joy, makes your life easier or is something you don’t want to give up. I truly believe that to succeed with budgeting long-term, every woman’s budget should include the things she loves – in moderation, of course.
Over time, as you make more money, a budget goal should be to steadily add more “non-negotiables” into your budget. Obviously, this shouldn’t be at the expense of your goals and priorities, but it should be something you always keep in mind. Check out episode 70 of the City Girl Savings Podcast – My Budget Non-Negotiables for more information and some examples of my current budget non-negotiables.
#4 Find a consistent tracking system
I say this all the time: creating your budget is half the battle, the other half is sticking to it! The only way to know if you’re sticking to your budget is by tracking your spending. When you track your spending, you’re able to identify any categories that are over or under budget.
One of the budget goals every woman should have is to find a consistent tracking system. I specify “consistent” because a tracking system only works when it’s used regularly. Jumping on and off the tracking train doesn’t help ensure your budget is right for you.
#5 Make sure your budget prioritizes savings and/or debt payoff
This is probably a given, but it’s important that every budget plan prioritizes saving and/or debt payoff. If you already have a savings and your focus is debt, your budget doesn’t need to include an amount for savings – all extra income should be allocated to debt payoff. Once your debt is paid off, you can transition back to budgeting for savings goals. Check out the article Should You Save Money When You Have Debt for more insight.
#6 Learn to love and respect your budget
Your budget is your friend. Your budget is there to help you reach your goals. Your budget is what helps you get to your dream life. We should all learn to love and respect our budgets! That only happens when you give it an honest shot.
Learning to love and respect your budget will help you take it seriously. It will also put you in a better mindset to actually work on and stick to the budget. Let go of any negative thoughts around budgeting and learn to love it – I promise you’ll see a difference!
Each of the goals listed above can help you put together a budget that is effective, realistic and helps you reach your goals. While you may not be able to hit all the goals at the same time, you can make it a point to work towards each of them. Once you’ve accomplished all 6 goals, your budget will be a force to be reckoned with – and so will you!
When it comes to your budget, what do you struggle with the most? How can any of the goals listed above help you get into a better routine with budgeting? Share your tips and experiences by dropping a comment below!