Hello to all my new friends who might have seen me on Rachael Ray! And hello to all my existing Freebs. I've had lots of questions lately about good old fashioned BUDGETING (yes, the “B” word…). So today I thought I'd bust out my best, most delicious secret sauce to help you get your budget (and finances!) under control.

During our financial disaster ($15K in credit card debt, $10,500 car loan we couldn't afford, new business, no income, new baby, and $0 in the bank…) I had trouble getting advice from someone I could relate to. My friends didn't help much, apparently people don’t like to talk about money. #Weird. I found experts in books and online to tell me how to pay my house off, or pay cash for a car, or what accounts to invest in for retirement…but what about someone to tell me how much to pay for groceries? Or how to talk to my husband about money without killing each other? Or, heaven forbid, afford to take my kids to Disneyland someday without completely shattering our finances in the process? I was forced to figure it out for myself. And it worked. We paid off all the debt in 13 months (on a $31K income!), and now have several years' living in the bank, and have achieved all of our financial goals…WHILE living a full, fun life.

It wasn't easy, but over the years I have developed basic financial principles and simple budgeting methods that are so effective, they have helped not only us, but hundreds and thousands of people just like y-o-u. 

My best form of financial help and hand-holding is in my budgeting program. But for quick tips and a good jumpstart, this blog is filled with hundreds of tips and budgeting advice. Today I have gathered the BEST principles and financial methods that will surely kickstart your budget and help whip your wallet into shape!

So without further adieu…

The SIMPLEST Budgeting Methods…EVER!

1- The 7 (at least) bank accounts every family should have:

The 7 bank accounts every family should have to keep budgets and your finances in check! Don't be overwhelmed, and let things spiral... I can help! www.BudgetBootCamp.com

This is one of the most viral posts I've ever had...and for good reason. It sounds CRAZY, right?? Most of us have two accounts – one saving, one checking. Have you ever considered opening MORE accounts to help you organize your money better? If not, then you should! For my husband and I this is one of the single easiest things we did to get us out of our scary financial situation…and fast. And no, you don't have to have lots of money to do it. In fact, we were living paycheck-to-paycheck at the time that this started working the best for us.

2- The Simplest budgeting technique EVER:

Budgeting can be complicated. Frustrating. Hard, even. When my husband I went through our tough financial time we learned one glaring fact about budgeting…

Simplifying. WORKS.

In this post I will break down my ridiculously simple, easy, and practical personal budget system that single-handedly got us out of major debt (including $10K on just ONE credit card!) and helped us get ahead financially. The best part? It's worked for thousands of people too! The technique works whether you use cash, debit cards, or credit cards to do your spending.

Warning – the video is super old and horrible quality! So sorry! But the principle is still the same, and has helped literally hundreds of thousands of people. So ignore the grainy-ness and horrible lighting and thank me later anyway! See the simplest budgeting technique HERE.

3 – Dividing financial responsibilities in marriage (and how to stop fighting about money!)

how to STOP fighting about money! This is GENIUS!!

Raise your hand if you've NEVER fought over money!


Yeah, we all do. Why? Because we have different ways of doing things! To keep your family finances running efficiently and smoothly, and to help you stay on-budget (and fight less!) in this post I suggest dividing up spending responsibilities so you aren't stepping on each others' toes! Yes, you are all working for the same team and the same common goal, but by dividing up, you're making sure everything is covered, and it gives everyone the chance to track and manage things their own way.

See how to divide responsibilities HERE.

4 – The 70% Rule: How to Afford Spending, Saving, and Investing on ANY Income!

The "70% rule", how much to budget for spending, saving, and investing...SO DARN SIMPLE! From FunCheapOrFree.com

This financial principle not only works, but it will work FOREVER. With a little adjusting, this will help you throughout your life to know exactly how much to spend, save, and invest…no matter you income, debt, where you live, or stage of life.

When Bubba and I finally saved up and had a stable enough income to move into our home, we were on cloud nine…until Bubba had to take a 40% pay cut a few months after closing. Wah waaaahp. The good news is that this principle helped us stay on track. No derailing, no panicking, no living off of credit cards. We knew exactly what to do, and was able to adjust quickly. This principle also helps us to be able to set aside money for savings, bills, and retirement, WHILE being able to spend money on the things we want to spend money on!

See the 70% Rule HERE.

5- The “3-month rule” – The secret to buying (just about) anything you want…on any budget:

This post is a HUGELY important one. A gross misconception about “frugal people” is that we don't spend money; that we pinch every penny,  never buy anything expensive, only shop at Good Will, and live a miserly, boring, and overall “cheap” life. While some of that is true (there is nothing wrong with shopping at thrift stores!), the overall misconception is…well…a misconception! (Remember my differentiation between “cheap” and “frugal” HERE?) I am living, breathing proof that you CAN be frugal, live reasonably, practice self-control and delayed gratification, follow a tight budget, be thrifty in every sense of the word…and still have, do, and own just about anything you want.
(“Just about” being the keyword. We've got to be reasonable here, folks!)   See the 3 month rule post HERE.  

6 – How to do a Spending Freeze:

how to do a spending freeze! Video and post, SUCH good info!

A spending freeze is exactly what it sounds like…you freeze your money, and withhold from spending any money for a specific period of time. Then, the money that you would have typically spent during the freeze, you put toward debt, or a specific savings or financial goal. I’ve heard of people doing spending freezes for an entire month or more. And for anyone who has successfully accomplished this, hats off to you. I personally recommend doing spending freezes for just 1 week at a time to start. 7 consecutive days, that’s all! It’s a short enough amount of time that you can do it with little to no preparation, but it’s long enough that you will save a substantial amount of money in that time.

See how to do a spending freeze HERE.

7 -How to get your spouse to stop spending money

How to get your spouse to stop spending money (8 simple tips you can thank me for later) from FunCheapOrFree.com

Boy, getting your spouse to stop spending money can be an insanely complicated task. In our family I tend to be the spender and Bubba tends to be the saver. But not always! So I know first-hand how frustrating (and hurtful) it can be to not be on the same page as your spouse. This post will help give you tips for helping to motivate your dear spouse from spending so much, and/or to simply get on the same page as you financially so you can start achieving bigger goals…together!

See how to get your spouse to stop spending money HERE.

See even more awesome budgeting tips HERE.

So there you go! Hope those help start to get your finances in order.

Have you checked out ShelfCooking.com yet? Our brand new site is dedicated to helping you cook delicious, nutritious and budget-friendly meals for your family without slaving away in the kitchen!

Check out ShelfCooking.com

Basically every parent's dream, right? Join our Shelf Cooking Community today!

Need a little more help?

Don't forget about my Secret Sauce online budgeting program, Budget Boot Camp! BBC is a super fun 27-video program that makes money easy to understand. All you need is a screen and you're set!

And don't forget, if you don't save at LEAST what you paid for the program, I'll refund every dime. You've got nothing to lose (except your debt)! Use the code FCFBLOG to get an extra 10% off, because I love you 😉