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If you want to learn how to budget effectively, be sure to ask yourself these 10 questions. Trying to find more room in your budget? Check out this video:

The Questionnaire:

The Financial Diet blog:

Chelsea: Hi, I'm Chelsea

Lauren: And I'm Lauren 

Chelsea: And we are

Together: The Financial Diet!

Chelsea: And today we're going to be doing something very new and in my opinion very cool, which is we're going to share with you guys this questionnaire that we made at TFD to kind of look at our budgets in a new way. When it comes to budgets I think a lot of people have this idea that it's all about just looking at the numbers, seeing what you're doing and, you know, working off of that. But for us I think it's more important to not just look at the how much of a budget, but really to look at the why. So we came up with this questionnaire to really look at the reasons and the whys behind your budget and we even made it into a little Google Sheets so that you guys can fill it out at home. 

So the first one is, what are 3 purchases I made last month, big or small, that I regret? Uh, and the biggest reason behind this one is that unless you force yourself to look, we really have a tendency to forget those things that we bought that we'd rather not have spent money on. 

Lauren: So the second question is what purchases last month can be truly classified as investments? And this is really helpful because it allows you to analyze your purchases on a per use value. 

Chelsea: Not everything can be thought of this way, but for a lot of the purchases we make, if you break down to how much I get use out of it versus how much I spent, it'll really show you what things hold value over time and what don't. Number 3, what 3 specific things you want to cut from your budget this month? And keep in mind this can be as simple as switching from name brand to generic on something or it can be one less coffee per week or whatever it could be to you, but what is something that you could cut relatively painlessly that would really help you free up more space in your budget? 

Lauren: Question 4, out of all the items that you've bought in the past month, how many of them have gone on sale since purchasing them? And this is great because it really points out whether or not you've been lazy in the past when it comes to researching the best possible price for a purchase that you're about to make. 

Chelsea: It's helpful to remember that almost everything you're buying retail could be bought on sale if you were patient enough. Question 5, how much money did I spend going out last month? Now for many of us, this is the hardest one to really take a look at it and if you're really paranoid about going through every purchase and it's too much for you, you can get a program like mint, that will collect it all together for you and just give you the number, but you have to confront that number. The first step to reducing your going out budget is acknowledging what it is. 

Lauren: Question 6, did you put money towards something that you genuinely care about, like a memorable experience or a good cause? I personally think that it's really valuable to see that your spending money on things that you really care about versus things like just booze, food, clothing, etc.

Chelsea: Number 7, did I set up a concrete savings goal and did I meet it? It's important when looking at your budget to make sure that for everything you're doing, you have a concrete goal in mind. You can't just say "Oh, I'm going to save" you have to say how much you wanna save or it's going to be a lot more difficult to get it done. And it's also important to follow up and make sure you did it. Even if your savings goal is just $10 a month, it's important not just that you saved, but that you set a goal and met it because that creates habits. 

Lauren: Question 8, going forward what specifically are you saving for? Everyone will have different saving goals and that can be anything from investments to a vacation, it's just important that you actually have those saving goals.

Chelsea: Question 9, how much do I need to save per week to meet that goal? Basically when it comes to saving, it's really a three step thing. You start by figuring out your big goal, then you figure out how much it's going to take you per to meet that goal and then you do the habit creating of setting the individual number goal and meeting it. Savings is just a combination of staying motivated and staying consistent. 

Lauren: Question 10, what is one tangible way that I can increase my income next month? Which means 

Together Side hustles!

Lauren: it's not only about what you can save, it's also about what you can earn so that you can make more wiggle room in your budget. 

Chelsea: In the end, the more questions that you can ask yourself about you budget that aren't just numbers based, the better you'll be able to stick to it. When it comes to money, know thyself.

Lauren: So as always, thanks for watching and don't forget to hit the subscribe button and go to for more

Together: Bye!