How to write a budget that transforms your finances

Have you tried budgeting before and failed miserably? Me too. Many times.

You can read all about my epic fails here.

Thankfully, budgeting is not nearly as hard as I was making it. With these easy steps you can create a budget and use it to transform your finances today.

How to write a budget that transforms your finances

  1. Find a buddy

    Make sure you use a system that works for both of you. We use Every Dollar. There is a free option, but we upgraded to plus because it syncs all of our transactions into the budget and saves us hours. In my opinion, it is worth every cent.*If you are single, you should still have someone to hold you accountable to your plan (budget is just a fancy word for a financial plan). I’m going to call them your budget buddy. It could be a trusted friend or family member. It is important to have someone else who will call you out on your over-spending and push you to cut costs, save more, and reach your goals. Make sure that this person makes wise financial decisions in their own life so that they will push you in the right direction.

  2. Everyone needs to agree on the budget before the month begins.

    Warning: This may cause some fights in the beginning as you get used to holding one another accountable. That’s normal. It doesn’t mean you can’t budget together. It means you are changing and changing is hard. If you need to, take a break and finish the budget another day.

  3. Review your budget at least once a week and make changes as necessary.

    Especially in the beginning, you will forget things, screw up, and overspend. That’s ok. Give yourself some grace. You are learning something new. Just fix the numbers so that every dollar is accounted for and keep going. It’s not about perfection. It is about making life and your budget work together.

  4. Hold one another accountable.

    Kindly. Without nagging. Your tone of voice is everything. “Hey, I noticed there is a charge for $150 at Home Depot. Do you remember what that is from?” opens up a conversation. Where as “Why the $!*@ did you spend $150 at Home Depot?!” starts a fight. Be open to hearing the back story and reaching the solution together.

  5. Set goals for each month and celebrate your victories.

    You should always have a goal in mind. This goal will help you stay motivated and fight off temptations. If you need help setting goals, click here.

It is one thing to write a budget. It is another to make it work. Making your budget work requires crafting your life around what was written down on that piece of paper, spreadsheet, software or whatever you are using.

Hopefully, these steps will help you get control of your budget and start seeing financial success. If you have any comments, questions or other tips you’d like to add, please share them below!

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Author: Vanessa

I am a free spirit who learned to use creativity as a key to success in chasing after debt freedom. I am a mom, lover of all things DIY, a little bit of a treehugger and modern-day hippy and an encourager to the core. If you need a little inspiration for your debt free journey, you’ve come to the right place.


  1. Mary

    I appreciate these tips, especially number 3. I need to remember that sometimes things come up and it is ok to re evaluate once in a while.

    • I’m glad it is helpful! #3 has been a game changer for us. Before when things would come up and throw us off, we would just use it as an excuse to give up and “try again next month.” It has been much more effective to just work through the surprises because let’s be honest, things always come up ;). Good luck budgeting and thanks for reading!

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