That's the first rule of money, the second one is obvious, you MUST track your personal spending, too! It's very revealing not just for your finances but for you as a person. This year I'm sicking to the simple rules below for personal accounting.
1. Saving Every Single Personal Receipt and Recording our personal accounting Spreadsheet
I use Google Sheets
I'll confess, I am diligent with business tracking but never keep up the personal end. It'll be interesting to see the spending that goes on looking at the years going forward honestly. We spend nearly nothing but it still adds up!
2. No eating out unless it's social (a visiting friend, etc.), I'm cooking nearly all meals at home. I'm leaving wiggle room, for instance we sometimes end up in a rush. The groceries is the easiest area to spend smart and save in.
3. Have guides for my "vision" for wardrobe/home/business buying for review before buying. Just like I shared with this post, having a vision for what you want the final result of your home, wardrobe, business, etc. to be helps curb impulse buys.
4. No new purchases unless I've thought on it for a week or longer.
5. Severely limited "for fun" shopping or thrifting. I want to have a purpose in mind when I shop to help curb impulse buys. It also helps to have a friend with me while thrifting to keep me accountable.
Mostly our theme is buy less STUFF and if you do buy reaaaally be wise about it, only buy something I truly feel I will love and use for years. I want to focus on making our creations as beautiful and high quality as possible this year and traveling, and I don't mind living with less in the meantime to make those things happen. AJ and I enjoy the challenge of the tight budgeting, it's all a worthy sacrifice to make big things happen this year!
Full disclosure, I do not pay myself AT ALL. I put all earnings back into the business, giving myself merely enough payout for bills and necessities. It's challenging, but honestly, I'm enjoying the perspective it's given me on minimalism and wise spending. Even when we're earning more, I'm taking the lessons learned from these start-up years with me.
Do you have any particularly awesome budget tips to share? Any challenges you're doing this year? Apps perhaps? Do let me know in the comments.