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This topic is adapted from thewildwong YouTube channel.

It’s hard to manage your money when you don’t have much of it. That’s why it’s essential to have a budget.

[Related: The Best Budgeting Apps]

Video Highlights:

  • The first thing you should do is make a list of your income and expenses. List both regular expenses (rent, car insurance) and irregular expenses (holiday spending, insurance premiums, car breakdown). You have to learn to expect the best yet plan for the worst by having a fund to draw from when irregular expenses hit. Budgeting will help build up that fund.
  • Second, cut spending in problem spending areas. Do you really need the five-dollar latte five days a week, or can you cut it down to once or twice a week? You don’t need to cut out the fun stuff altogether, but you do need to control when and how much you spend on luxuries, and having a budget will help you do that.
  • Find ways to cut back on your bills and embrace frugality. If you embrace frugality as a habit, you will then have more money to spend on things you really care about. If you’re not always “nickel-and-diming” your bank account to death, you may find yourself with enough money, after a year, to go on that big trip you’ve always planned.
  • After you’ve got your budget in order, you can then focus on increasing your income in other ways like through a side gig.
  • Once you get your spending under control, you can then focus on reaching financial goals like getting out of debt, establishing an emergency fund, investing, or making a big contribution to a charitable organization you care about.

Reaching real goals requires real sacrifice and real intentionality. If you ever want to get your financial circumstances under control, one of the most important first steps is to make and keep a budget.

Written content for this topic by Daniel Martin.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Do you have a budget? Why or why not?
  4. What are some irregular or non-essential costs you have on a monthly basis? What can you do to reduce those costs?
  5. How can a budget guide larger life decisions, like where you work or how you spend your time?
  6. What are some “side gigs” or other ways you can increase your income after you’ve got a budget in order?
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.