Moms on a budget? Let me show you how to make room in your budget to afford the life you want to live.
Take a minute and answer this question: what is it that you really, really, really, REALLY, want in your life right now?
You know, that thing (insert service, product, subscription, etc.) that, because you don’t want to take on yet another recurring monthly expense, you’re pretending you don’t want?
We’re going to do something together today. We’re going to open up room in your cash flow for the services + products that you need/want to live your best life now, and shed the ones that no longer make sense.
Hint: by shedding services + purchases that no longer make sense for you, we’ll essentially keep your spending at its same level or decrease it, but UP your quality of life big time. This is a powerful exercise!
That’s right; it’s time to audit your spending, filter out anything that used to be important to you, and make room for some spending that will make a difference in your CURRENT life.
How I Audited My Biz Spending to Make Room for a New Virtual Assistant
I recently did this in my business. There were several services that I was continuing to pay for each month that used to make sense for me.
Even just 12 months ago.
But guess what? My biz now is different from what it was at the end of 2016. And the biz I want my biz to grow into? Needs different services + products to help get it there.
Here are the subscriptions I’ve shed in my biz audit conducted last month:
- Buffer App: $109/year, or $9.08/month
- Maintenance Tech Help: $79/month
- Quiz Platform: $35/month
- Email Service Provider: $35/month
Total “found” money: $158.08/month.
And with this newfound money? I can hire out for things to make my life much easier, which will both help my biz grow + help me stay sane.
How to Audit Your Own Recurring Monthly Spending
Step #1: Sniff Out Your Recurring Costs
First you need to know what’s going out of your budget that is recurring. You can usually figure this out by just looking at two months’ worth of financial statements.
Print out the last two months’ bank + credit card statements, and take a highlighter out.
Highlight each recurring payment (the ones that you can unsubscribe from – don’t worry, I’m not asking you to, I’m just asking that you become aware of things) to places like:
- Food delivery services like Blue Apron
- Apple store purchases
- Anything you signed up for with a free trial
- Cleaning services
- Dry-cleaning services
- Recurring sessions with places like masseuse, salons, therapists, acupuncture, etc.
Add up how much money each month it costs for all of these services.
Step #2: Assess which represent your old life
You’re moving you into your next chapter of your life, whatever that may look like. So, you need to shed what no longer represents where you’d like to prioritize your money in order to open up the funds.
Here are some filter questions:
- Which services represent the needs of my old self?
- Which services are under-delivering and over-promising?
- Which services am I just not using like I thought I would?
- Which services can I just cut back on but still keep to a degree (think: de-supersize)?
Add up the total amount from the services you can cut back on or want to cut out altogether.
Step #3: Actually cut those services out of your life
Take an afternoon, a lunch hour, or whatever you’ve got – for me, that’s often entertaining my 2-year old while talking to a rep on a shoulder-perched phone – and actually cancel what needs to go.
Step #4: Immediately set aside the freed-up money
There is an actual checking account gremlin. I’m sure of it.
So instead of keeping that newfound money in your checking account without giving it a purpose, give it a purpose pronto.
This means adding up all the money you just found and doing one of two things:
- Sweeping it into a designated savings account via automatic withdrawal
- Signing up for the new services so that the money is spent with intention and purpose towards what you’d like to accomplish or do or have next
And that’s it. Do this once a year, or at least do this for this year, and set yourself up to get closer towards where you want to be.