Unless you’re new around here, you’ve likely noticed that I treat life management (including budgeting) a little different than most.
Most people think life management is improving individual skills, like working on budgeting, or home organization.
But when you do that, it’s extremely hard to gain traction in any area, because each of those skills are intertwined. If you work on one without mastering the smaller skills below it, then it’s extremely hard to be successful.
On the flip side, when you tackle things in the right order, mastering smaller simple skills that lead into complex skills, then things that you’ve struggled with for years, like budgeting… become easy.
We need to stop thinking about these things as home management or budgeting or cleaning, but to think of all of it together as life management.
The best way to do that is to think of every life skill and task as levels of a video game.
Now, I’m not exactly a huge gamer (unless Super Mario Bros. counts?) but, once you master one skill, then you can level up to a new one. And as you go, you can unlock new tools that make skill mastery easier (think firepower for Mario).
Level Up Your Life Management
If you want to have a major breakthrough in every aspect of your life, learning how to level up life management makes this stuff so incredibly easy.
Update: 10/21 You asked for it and I’m delivering! Starting NOW, you can grab the Trashed to Total Home Transformation Starter Kit For FREE!
It teaches you step by step how to work with your personality to not only set up home routines that will work (no matter how many times you’ve failed in the past), but that you’ll stick to…
We’ve taught hundreds of thousands of people how to use bare minimum consistent effort to completely transform their home (and life!). You’re up next.
This was the biggest factor in overcoming my severe disorganization. I spent the majority of my life…
- Late to everything
- With 3 days of dirty dishes in the sink.
- Spending every dollar I made (plus some) as soon as I got it.
- Walking over the laundry pile to get out of my apartment.
Despite years and years of trying new systems and programs to change… nothing ever worked. Until one day, I realized that everything I was trying assumed I would have the willpower to stick with it when I didn’t want to.
I realized that I had to work with my unique personality if I wanted to finally get life management results. When I finally figured out how to do that the changes came fast and furious.
Things that I had tried and failed for years to change, were suddenly easy. Budgeting, home organization, meal planning… You name it.
I conquered life management by leveling up.
How This Works
Leveling up works in two ways.
1. You learn new skills.
The easiest way to explain this is that most of the things we care about improving (like budgeting, getting the house organized, and meal planning) are all complex life management skills. That means that they’re made up of a bunch of tiny skills that have to be mastered before you can be successful.
Take meal planning for example. It’s not just writing a list of meals on a paper, it’s…
- Being able to accurately estimate how long (and how much motivation) you’ll have to cook.
- Figuring out how many people you need to feed.
- Checking when ingredients expire.
- Having a semi-clean kitchen (with clean plates, pans, etc.).
- Knowing how much money you can spend on food.
- Making an ingredient list.
- Buying the groceries.
- Actually cooking dinner when the time comes (rather than calling for take-out).
And only after all of that is completed do you find out if your meal plan is successful.
What I’ve found is that by teaching life management skills in order, starting with the smallest possible skill, people can easily level up until they have these complex skills mastered.
And the feedback we get from teaching this way is incredible, “I don’t understand why budgeting is suddenly easy when I haven’t been able to stick to a budget for my entire life?”
We teach this in Hot Mess to Home Success, and we go through every skill you need to run your home, budget, and essentially your life until you’ve mastered them.
But once you’ve graduated, there’s a whole new way that leveling up can serve you.
2. You make established life management skills easier by using newly found time or money.
Once you’ve successfully mastered home management, you still level up… all the time. But this time, you unlock new levels by finding different tools or advanced skills to make the tasks faster, easier, or just more fun.
Here’s a few examples of life management of my own.
I’ve used a schedule every single day for the last 8 years. (I use this planner which keeps my routines for me). That skill is mastered for me. But a while ago, I leveled up to using Todoist in addition to my calendar to track my routines as well as tasks I need to complete in a day.
- Morning routine
- Dress and make up
- Get kids dressed
- Healthy breakfast
- Switch load of laundry
- Put breakfast dishes in the dishwasher
- Feed the dog
- Take a walk
It took me years to be able to level up to doing any part of my schedule online. Hint: what finally let me take the plunge? Deleting or hiding all other apps and putting Todoist on the featured bar.
High Tech Washer.
Because our budget is under control and we have more disposable income (an amazing tool), we used some of that to get a washer that lets you schedule the laundry to be run. So now, I can load it when I fold clothes at night and schedule it to run at 6 am so it’s done by the time I come out to breakfast. (Hint: I’m awake at 6 am but not in the mood to start laundry. Just in case of fire, don’t run this while everyone’s asleep).
Plan to Eat.
Now I can use Plan to Eat to easily plan meals for the week, including making an automated grocery list. I leveled up by using the fact that my meal planning routine was mastered, so I could focus my attention on learning new technology and inputting recipes that we already used frequently (from our inspiration binder).
And because we have our budget under control with disposable income, we were able to buy an old used iPad, which we keep plugged in and attached to the wall by 3 m tape (my poor kids have no idea that it can be pulled from the wall, so it’s never touched. We told them that we super glued it to the wall and if they pull on it, it will just break. We set the setting for it to never turn off.
So now I get super easy recipe instructions, step by step, and all of my Plan to Eat recipes right there.
You can also level up any individual skill. Take back up meals for example.
Back Up Meals.
A back up meal is something that’s super easy for you to make, that your family likes and that the ingredients are able to be kept in the fridge, freezer, or pantry for a while so it doesn’t go bad if you don’t need it.
It’s the absolute best way to keep you from hitting the drive-thru or grabbing Ubereats.
We talked about this a few weeks ago with back up meals, how there’s really three levels based on where you are. If you don’t know how to cook and you eat fast food 5x a week, a perfectly acceptable back up meal for you is canned ravioli (assuming you like canned ravioli). That would be level 1.
But if you can cook, you’ve freed up time so you have a little extra, and you eat pretty healthy… you’re likely going to be cooking and freezing turkey burgers and whole wheat buns to make some last-minute spinach feta turkey burgers. You’re level 3.
Both are ok. It depends on your current level.
While those are a few examples of ways to level up life management skills, there’s actually hundreds of them just from my life, not even counting the ones collected from students… I’m constantly on the lookout for new technology (like Qube and Walmart Pickup), or a way to upgrade a current skill to unlock a new level.
And while all of this is helpful… mastering the life management basics has to come first. Because if we don’t master the basics, we’ll never get to a point where we can level up.
Want to do this life management challenge but have no idea where to start?
Below, you’ll find the Life Management Challenge. 5 challenges to start building those skills that make a huge difference in your life quickly and easily.
If you’re thinking to yourself. “Yeah right.” I’ve tried everything. How can a free challenge on life management help what I’ve been trying to change for years.”
Then let me put your mind at ease.
I get you, I was you.
I grew up chronically disorganized. That means that I’ve been a hot mess my whole life, before “hot mess” was even a thing. And I had ZERO life management skills.
When I say I’ve been there, I really mean I’ve BEEN THERE.
I know what it’s like to ALWAYS feel like you’re behind and you’ll never catch up.
To see mountains of laundry and know that pile will only get bigger. To go through the drive-thru because you have a sink full of dirty dishes from two nights ago.
I know what it feels like to always forget important things and to feel like you’re just one step away from dropping a major ball.
I know what it’s like to suck at budgeting. To swipe your card and cross your fingers that it will get approved because you have no idea how much money is in your account.
I know what it feels like to fall into bed exhausted every night thinking there MUST be more to life than work, dishes, cooking, and laundry.
Well, the good news is that wasn’t the end of my story and this isn’t the end of yours.
Life Management Challenge #1: Plan Ahead
We’re going to set up a schedule book today and then learn how to ACTUALLY use it without drifting away from it in a few weeks.
Having an easy-to-use and effective planner system is the foundation of getting yourself organized. This planner will become the central hub of everything you do and will eliminate the last-minute stress and frustration of being disorganized.
It’s even going to save you a boatload of money. Because by planning ahead. We’re going to make well planned, unemotional choices, instead of trying to solve our problems quickly with money at the last minute.
- Choose a paper schedule book to set up. You can buy one cheaply at an office supply store or Walmart or Target, or you can go simple and print off our popular one (and surprise! I’ll give it to you for free…
So, of course the question is going to come up: Why use a paper planner?
I want you to start with paper because survey after survey have told us that our readers almost always do better with paper planners than electronic. It’s just one of the quirks of our personality. Unless you’re already using an electronic calendar successfully, then just do the paper planner.
Hint: If you print our free planner off, bring it to Staples or Office Max and they can professionally coil bind it with a cover for around $4. I do this ALL THE TIME. I take a lot of online courses and this is my favorite way to handle the workbooks that come with courses.
2. If you choose an undated planner… throw on a Netflix show tonight and go through and date the entire planner first. Once you have your planner set up…
3. Go through and list any upcoming events and dates. If you know you have things coming up but aren’t sure when, take the time to figure that out now.
Let me give you some common events to jog your memory so you can add any relevant ones to your schedule:
- School events
- People coming to visit
- Reunions (like family or work)
- Work events or trips
- Court dates
- Doctor appointments
- Hair appointments
- Home maintenance
- Repair meetings
- Kids sports
4. As you’re adding things think ahead to what else you’re going to need.
- Do you need a present for the birthday party? Stick that in your schedule book on another day at least 2 weeks ahead of the party.
- Have people visiting? Then do you have enough blankets, pillows, etc. for them to use? Should you get a blow-up bed?
- Do you need to have money for an event? Do you need to have cash on hand? Put a note in your calendar so you can remember to take money out.
- Wedding guest? You’ll need a gift, a super cute outfit, and possibly a date.
- Court appearance? You’ll need a clean uniform if you’re a police officer or detective or a suit or dress clothes if you’re the victim, witness, or defendant in the case.
- School Event? You may need cash and a packed lunch for your kids, and you may need to be there as well.
You don’t need to figure this stuff out now, but designate a date at least two weeks ahead of time to figure it out then and solve the problem.
So, the idea behind this is that we want to get all of this stuff that’s rambling around your brain, out of your head, and into a system where you have a time and place to deal with it. That’s how things get done and that’s when we stop letting things fall through the cracks.
Here’s the secret:
- Don’t track everything! Track only what’s important. What gets tracked, gets done. This isn’t the time to add in new routines (like if you want to start going to the gym daily), we’ll have time for that, but right now we need to establish the schedule routine and make it so that everything you need to remember now is out of your head and into the book.
- Now, every night, look at your schedule for tomorrow. Add in anything else you need to get done, and if you have free time and you have a goal you’d like to get done, feel free to add that.
- As you set up your day for tomorrow set phone alarms for super important things as a backup reminder so that you KNOW for certain you won’t drop the ball.
- Leave your planner out somewhere very obvious (I put mine on the kitchen counter) so you can check it first thing every morning and refer to it often.
Use a sticky note to write out anything you need to know while you’re out. You can put the sticky note on your car dash so you see it. This is usually things like return books to the library, return purchases and pick up milk, etc.
Now, I want to warn you that I know where you might go wrong here.
We see images like this and we REALLY want to be these amazingly organized people with color-coded and stickered planners.
If this is what you want, then one day I have no doubt that you’re going to achieve this.
Right now, the important thing is sticking to the plan and making this a routine.
Plan Ahead Action Steps
- Choose a schedule book
- Date the entire planner
- List any upcoming events and dates
- Think ahead for each event to what else you’re going to need and mark it in your planner two weeks before the date.
5. Every night, look at your schedule for tomorrow. Designate a place in your planner to track this for the next two weeks. Make a checkmark every day for the next two weeks as you complete this. Once the first checkmark is complete, move onto the next challenge.
Life Management Challenge #2: Set Up Your Dishes Routine
- Start by figuring out how many loads you need to do each day.
If you work outside of the house and you’re eating a quick breakfast on the go, you should only need to do one load a day. When you have more than one load, leave the large items (like pots and mixing bowls) out to hand wash.
If you stay at home with kids and make all of your meals from scratch, you may need to do 3 loads a day. But if you hand wash the large items (like pots and pans), you can usually do it in one or two.
Dishes Action Steps
- Determine how many loads of dishes you need to do every day.
- Complete your dish routine (wash and put away). Track this next to the planner tracking for the next two weeks.
Life Management Challenge #3: Start a Laundry Routine
Often, we let laundry slide because it seems like a much bigger job than it actually is.
If you have a washer…
- Do one load a day, every day. Don’t do more than one load a day. EVER. Do your one load, and then move on. (Unless you have a ton of people in your house… we’re going to talk about that in a minute).
All you do every day is wash the clothes your family wore yesterday.
If you have a giant pile of backed up laundry, you aren’t allowed to do extra loads to catch up. Wash the clothes your family wore yesterday, and fit into that load as many extras as you can to catch up over time (which you will, I promise). Once they are dry put them away.
Establish different baskets (piles on the floor would even work in the beginning), one for whites, one for darks, and one for towels/blankets. If you have a lot of specialty wash clothing, you can put towels and blankets in with the darks or lights and use the third pile for delicates.
Hand washing isn’t a thing in our house. We don’t hand wash anything, we wash delicate clothing on the delicate cycle and then immediately hang them to dry on the three basket laundry sorter. We use a 3 bag laundry sorter that works perfectly for this. Get the one with a bar across the top so you can hang wet delicates to dry and you can immediately hang up clothes that will be hung on hangers instead of wasting time folding.
- Rotate through the piles each day and add as much extra laundry as you can to catch up.
- Once the clothes are washed and dried, put them away. Shove them in a drawer or a dresser. If everything is stuffed full and there’s no room, establish a laundry basket or box for each member of the family and use that to put away the clothing.
If you don’t have a washer…
- Wash all loads (between 4-6 loads) at once at the laundromat.
- Throw on Netflix and fold all of the washed laundry. (This gives you something to look forward to instead of just a huge amount of laundry!)
- Put all the folded laundry away. (Shove them in a drawer or a dresser. If everything is stuffed full and there’s no room, establish a laundry basket or box for each member of the family and use that to put away the clothing.
2. Complete your laundry routine (wash, dry and put away). Track this for two weeks, next to the first two challenges. Mark off every day as you complete this.
Life Management Challenge #4: Create A Simple Meal Plan
Do you love the idea of saving a boatload of money through meal planning, but every time you try, it seems to cost you more money? You’ve come to the right place! No complicated coupon cutting here. You don’t even need to shop the ads! This is a very basic, step by step instructional on how to start menu planning for beginners.
The best meal ideas to get you started…
15 Minute Meals
Best for: When the week is extremely hectic. When you’ll be frequently working late and out of the house and tempted to eat fast food – 15 Minute meals uses convenience foods sold in stores to make super quick and easy dinners. This may not be the healthiest food, but it’s crazy quick and easy, and costs less than the drive-thru.
I love these because it tastes better than eating out, is quicker to make than it is to go through a drive-thru and if needed, we can use paper plates to minimize dishes. You can find my favorite 15 minute meals here.
This is the usually the easiest type to get into meal planning for beginners. You don’t need to prep them ahead, remember to defrost and there are no cooking skills involved.
Examples: Pepperoni Pizza Bagels, Chicken Parmesan Pasta, Broiler Steaks and Greek Salad.
Slow Cooker Meals
Best for: When I won’t be out of the house for more than 10 hours but want to take a break from making dinner. Slow cooker meals use a slow cooker to cook dinner slowly (in about 8 hours but you can also warm for an additional 2 hours) so you can throw something into the crock pot and come back 10 hours later to dinner being done.
I love this because slow cooker meals tend to be comfort food (read: delicious!) and I can pair it with a simple side to have dinner ready to go. You can see my Slow Cooker- Lazy Dinners Pinterest Board for my favorite Slow Cooker Meals.
Examples: BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Chili, Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Salisbury Steak, Beef Stew, Cranberry Chicken.
Best for: When I have time on the weekend or an extra day off (and my husband is willing to watch the kids patiently!). Freezer cooking allows you to make large batches of your favorites foods to create your own convenience foods! So instead of buying convenience foods filled with preservatives at a high cost, you cook them yourself and freeze them for super easy meals later. I love freezer cooking! I love being able to cook without distraction when I batch cook, I love how when we eat our freezer meals we can avoid kitchen clean up (my least favorite job!) and how easy dinner is.
Examples: BBQ Beef Cups, Quesadillas, Hamburgers, Tater Tot Casserole, Chicken and Broccoli Casserole.
HINT: We use this system now for both freezer cooking and the freezer dump cooking below because it’s cheaper and makes planning meals and prepping quick and crazy easy. You can make 10 meals in an hour!
Freezer Dump Cooking (Freezer to Slow Cooker)
(My husband is convinced I’m the only one that calls this dump cooking. It just means you “dump” the ingredients in a bag and freeze it. Then thaw and “dump” it in the slow cooker when you’re ready to cook.)
I do this all the time! This is probably my favorite way to get into meal planning for beginners. It combines freezer cooking and slow cooker meals to make super easy effortless meals with very little work. In about 2 hours, you can prep 20 dinners this way. You freeze them in gallon Ziploc bags, thaw them overnight and dump the ingredients from the bag into the crock pot in the morning. Then you come home to dinner already made!
I love how crazy easy this is, the healthy ingredients, and how much time this frees up for other things. You also have the added convenience of no kitchen clean up. We even invest in slow cooker bags so we don’t even have to clean out the slow cooker. We use Freezeasy already prepped meal planning packs to do this.
Examples: Beef and Broccoli, Beef Stroganoff, and Orange Pork Chops.
Backward Meal Planning
When I have time and I’m in the mood to cook from scratch, I hunt through my fridge, freezer and pantry and make a list of what I have that I want to use up. I then list meal ideas based on those items. If you have a freezer full of meat that you bought on sale, this is a great time to save a ton of money.
With a few simple sides and extra ingredients, I can often buy groceries for the week for about $20, leaving the extra money that we budgeted for groceries towards our longer term goals like debt reduction or savings.
This is one of the hardest ways to get into meal planning for beginners, but it’s definitely gives you the most savings! Reserve this for weekends.
Examples: Homemade Bread, Muffins, Chicken Noodle Soup, Grilled Meats.
Plan to Eat Out
There are totally situations that happen in life where it makes more sense to eat out than to cook at home. Eating out is not bad in itself. The problem is mindlessly eating out and not understanding the sacrifice we make when we spend money on that. One example of a time when we chose to eat out was when our little girl was born. My husband had just returned to work and we were really overwhelmed by our new responsibilities, lack of sleep and losing our familiar routine.
Meal Plan Action Steps
- Look at your schedule book this week. What do you have going on. How much time will you have to cook every night?
- Create a meal plan for each night of the week using the Cheap and Easy Meal Ideas.
- Choose a few sides that can be easily interchanged.
- Choose a pantry meal (link to back up meals post when it’s live) for when everything goes wrong (as it sometimes will).
- Put breakfasts on autopilot. (Cereal, bagels and cream cheese, frozen waffles, Poptarts)
- Put lunches on autopilot. You can find ideas for that here and here…
- Create a grocery list.
- Estimate the cost of your groceries.
- If your budget is too high, substitute meals out with something cheaper and adjust your list.
- Add your planned meals into your planner.
- Grocery shop, or arrange for grocery pickup.
- Put notes on your schedule when you need to do something ahead of time. (Defrost the chicken on Tuesday).
- Complete your meal plan. Every day in your planner.
Life Management Challenge #5: Build a Basic Budget
The problem with traditional budgets is that they look at your month as a whole. You’re going to make $5,000, spend $4,000 on bills and pay off debt with the other $1000.
That sounds easy until you attempt to pay your bills and pay off debt on the 1st of the month and $2,500 of that income doesn’t come in until the 15th of the month. Then you’re going to be overdrawing your account, racking up fees, and living off of credit cards until that mess gets cleaned up.
If you live paycheck to paycheck, you MUST know when money is coming in and when money is going out, and not just bills! You have to know when you need to buy a birthday present for an upcoming party, when you need money to meet your parents for dinner, or when you need to buy your Christmas tree.
- Write down in your planner the dates you expect money to be coming in, and when you expect money to be going out.
Qube Money lets you assign your money to different Qubes (digital cash envelopes) so that you can immediately see what’s been funded for the month and what needs to be funded from the next paycheck.
So, now you can create Qubes (or digital cash envelopes) that match the money that needs to be reserved this month, both for normal bills, like electric and special things like “Scott’s wedding” or “dental work”.
Step by step instructions to manage your budget with Qube if you live paycheck to paycheck.
1. Create an Account
Sign up for an account here. It’s free and they’ll automatically send you a debit card. Once the debit card arrives, transfer money in from your current bank account for the month.
2. Transfer your money in
You can transfer your money in instantly via debit card. It’s limited to a one-time use on the free version but you’ll be able to use it as many times as you want with premium. The limit right now is also $100 but that’s really only going to benefit someone who uses Qube just for their fun money.
They also have direct deposit and Payday 2 Days Early which are the quickest and easiest way to get money into Qube (more on that as I test them out).
A better way to do it is to link your main bank account to Qube Money so you can transfer money from your main bank account to Qube. Those transfers take 1-3 days but don’t have limits on how much you can transfer in.
When the money is transferred in, it’s transferred to the cloud. You can’t spend that money until…
- It’s transferred to a Qube.
- You open the Qube for spending.
3. Create Budget Categories
Let’s say, on the 1st of the month, you get your first paycheck. You set up the following envelopes: (Hint: You only have to set up envelopes once but you can change them, delete them, or add more at any time)
When you set up envelopes for bills, add in the amount typically due right on the Qube name. So if you pay $88/month for your cell phone bill, write “TMobile $88.”
When you label the food Qube, write down the amount you have to spend on food every week (so take your monthly food budget and divide it by the number of weeks in the month) and choose a day of the week for you to release next week’s food budget to yourself. (I do mine on Sundays).
- Cell Phone
- Date Nights
- Transfer to Savings
Make sure to include envelopes for items that are just occurring this month; things like…
- “Tennessee wedding”
- “Dental work”
- “Jon’s Birthday”
Take your income and start transferring money to your Qubes starting with the most important ones due in this paycheck and then moving on to optional Qubes.
(So mortgage due on the first gets paid before electric which is due on the 17th because it’s more important, but it’s also funded before “Jon’s birthday party” because that’s not a “need” (although Jon may have a different viewpoint on that).
Then create an additional Envelope called *** Food Holding***
This is the account that will “hold” our food money when we get paid, and then we’ll release a weekly amount that can be spent that week into the food Qube.
The reason that we do that is if we get $800 a month for food, but we spend $500 in the first week, there’s no way we’re going to be able to stick to that budget. We need to release money weekly.
Then, create an additional envelope called “blow money” or “fun money.” Every time you are under budget in any category at the end of the week, take 20% of whatever money is left over and transfer it to your blow money account. You can spend this guilt free on whatever you want.
Take the remaining 80% left over and transfer it to the savings Qube. You can either pay off additional debt with this money right away, or you can transfer this money to a hard to reach savings account (where you keep your emergency fund) like Capital One 360 or Ally Bank.
4. Spend Money
Now you’re loaded and ready to start spending!
The money available in that Qube will be loaded to your Qube debit card for the next 30 minutes or until a transaction is processed. When you make a purchase (or when 30 minutes times out with no purchase) then whatever you didn’t spend goes back to that Qube category.
Just like actual cash envelopes, you get the benefits of forcing yourself to look at your accounts and make decisions about where that money will come from before every purchase.
This is a super simple shift from a normal budgeting app, but it’s also the secret behind its success, especially in those that struggle with traditional budgeting.
5. Close out the week
At the end of the week (or whatever day you reset your budget, we do it on Sundays)…
Go into each category that should have been spent to zero that week (like your food budget) or a special event like Jon’s birthday and take 20% of the amount you have leftover from the week and transfer it to blow money. You can now spend that guilt-free on whatever you’d like.
Need help calculating percentages? Use percentcalculator.net to make it easy.
Then take the other 80% of what’s left and transfer it to savings or to pay off extra debt.
Have a quick budget meeting about how you did budgeting this week. This meeting can be 5 minutes tops. You can look at your Qube balances, make any changes that are needed, and brainstorm ideas for things that didn’t work.
Advanced: You can also choose one way to save money every single week and implement it over that week. This could be as simple as calling around for competitor’s quotes on car insurance or as quick as scrolling through your iPhone subscriptions (which can be found here) and mass canceling them all).
6. Get Your Next Paycheck
When you get your next paycheck. Do the same thing again. Transfer your money in, distribute it to the rest of the Qubes until they’re all full then continue spending.
Hint: If you frequently end up with last-minute “emergencies” that break your budget (which is common when you’re just starting because you’re forgetting about things frequently), create an “Oops” Qube with a smaller amount in it (between $50 and $200) to cover mistakes that pop up (like when you forget about a quarterly bill or an important event that requires money).
Use savings to live on last month’s income (an automatic emergency fund).
As you do this successfully for the next few months, I want you to keep in mind that your goal should be to be in a place to live on last month’s income. Then your paychecks for the current month will get deposited into Qube’s cloud and just wait there until the first of the month when you can fill the Qubes all at once (make sure though that you release month-long envelopes like discretionary and food into weekly allotments so you don’t spend it all at the beginning of the month and run out of money before the end.
It makes budgeting even easier. Fill your Qubes at the beginning of the month. Check them every week and transfer any weekly left over to blow money accounts, and that’s it. You can spend extra time and effort on reducing your expenses, but the bare minimum is done in just that time.
7. Closeout the month
At the end of the month, check other available accounts to determine if you had “unauthorized spending” and if you did add that to the amount you budgeted for at the beginning of the month for your total spending.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can quickly categorize all your purchases into 5 simple budget categories to determine total spending by categories that you can compare month to month. (I do this every month).
But if you get overwhelmed and don’t get to that, it’s not the end of the word as long as you use the digital cash envelopes and incentivized savings to reduce spending and stick to your budget.
Then set up your monthly budget for the next month.
Warning: This is an extremely effective way to budget. It’s arguably the EASIEST And MOST EFFECTIVE way to budget available today. But it has one drawback.
If something happens to your phone… it dies, you don’t have service, or it shatters and you can’t use the screen, etc. You won’t be able to open a Qube and your debit card won’t work. There isn’t a way to bypass needing to open the Qube.
How to work around that is to keep a backup payment method in your wallet that is not a credit card. The easiest way to do this is to keep the debit card for your main checking account (whatever you use now before you have Qube) with a $50 or $100 balance in your wallet.
Budget Action Steps
- Transfer your money in
- Create Budget Categories
- Spend Money
- Close out the week
- Get Your Next Paycheck
- Closeout the month
Congratulations! You did it! You rocked the life management challenge:)
P.S. If you want to keep going and level up these simple life management routines we can help! Using a bare minimum effort and working with your personality we can help you master the life skills that will make a HUGE impact on your home and your life.
And it frees up 5 hours of your time EVERY DAY so you can actually have time to do the things you LOVE. Reading in the hammock? Yes ma’am. More time with the kids? Let’s do it. 2 hour long bubble baths? You got it! 3 hours a night to start a side hustle? Yes, seriously.
Learn the simple routines that matter and then build on those skills to master the complex routines like budgeting, meal planning and cleaning will take your life skills to the next level. If you’re ready for the next steps you can jump on the Hot Mess to Home Success Waiting List here…