Budget Your Way to Financial FREEDOM

Budget Your Way to Financial FREEDOM



ok I have the clicker ok hi guys as I strive to live a life I love on a budget that I can afford today we're going to be talking about my budget by paycheck method and when she reached out to me to talk to you guys about budgeting saving in debt that's a lot of information to take in there are kind of three separate subjects but my met my budgeting method it really incorporates all the three so I thought we could discuss just that today so here who here actually wants to learn honestly wants to learn how to budget and really figure out how to tackle their financial goals okay so a better financial future that's what we want to get to so I'm calling this budget to freedom and the reason I call it as freedom is because everyone talks about financial freedom and in my method each letters of the word freedom represent a different step to my method now the first step is find your wife and if you watch me on Instagram you know how passionate I am about my why my why is my son James he just turned six this year and he was that aha moment the first thing in my life where I felt like I had purpose so a little back story on how I got here back in 2011 I just graduated college I came out with over $80,000 in debt 33,000 of that was student loans the rest was credit cards and that is a huge load to come out with not knowing how to pay it off not knowing how to manage my finances I was completely lost that my son was born and it was at that moment where I knew it was no longer about wanting to manage my finances and wanting to do better I had no choice I had to I had this this little boy who completely depended on me and it changed my entire life and if you hear me talk about him on my and most the time I'm crying and I'm very emotional about it that's what you're why should be to you it should be so important to you that it lights a fire under you you should feel emotion when you're fun when you're talking about your purpose on why you want your financial life to be better it's something we're giving up is not an option so whether that is your child or your kids whether that's the ability to travel more without putting anything on your credit card or going into debt whether that's being able to seize opportunities in your life without having to worry about money all those things can represent a why it doesn't have to be a specific thing or a goal it can be a feeling maybe you know I was that mom sitting at the kitchen table with my one-year-old next to me figuring out how I was gonna put food on the table how I was gonna pay my minimum payments I didn't want that life for him and so I had to tackle this this financial world that and it's funny I graduated with the finance degree but what people don't realize is just because you're in those services it doesn't mean that personal finance is a part of it budgeting debt saving money is usually not talked about it's not where the money is for them they can't earn anything by teaching those things and so a lot of time it's dropped by the wayside so when you're figuring out your why it has to be something you truly care about your why is what's going to get you through it the next thing is research and awareness research everyone hates me for this but it's tracking your spending knowing where every dollar of your money is going and it sucks and a lot of my readers call this a slap in the face moment where it's like oh my gosh I spent over a hundred dollars on coffee last month that could have went for paying for a vacation with my kid that could have went to paying off my student loans that could have been one step closer to a better life for me but in that it went to coffee and a lot of time when you spend your money it's like two dollars here four dollars here it's five bucks it's not gonna make a huge difference in my journey but it adds up and for me I have a personal preference on my tracking my spending and I'll be showing that you can see it in the brochure I use the highlighter method I am a manual person so what you might be wondering my budget by paycheck method and Dave Ramsey who knows Dave Ramsey and who knows the baby steps I tried it I hated it I failed at it so I thought I was doing it wrong and for years I tried to stick with it I tried to stay with the budget but then I realized I had to do it my way your way what works for you doesn't matter what everyone anyone else in the world it doesn't matter what financial experts are telling you it's your way that's the right way it's being at peace at the end of the night putting being able to put your head on your pillow and feeling secure and safe with your finances now that means your emergency fund has to be fifteen thousand dollars like it was mine then that's what it's going to take it doesn't mean that you can't pay off debt at the same time you can do both but a lot of financial experts say you do one or the other it's your way so research and awareness tracking your spending figuring out where your dollars are going once you are aware of where your money is going then in your mind you have a realistic image of your spending and you can start cutting costs so that's the second step eliminate and reduce it has to do with cutting those expenses a lot of time my readers say Mikko I was getting a $4.99 charge on my statement from some app that my son downloaded that's been going on for five years and I didn't even know it happens or someone hacked my bank account but I didn't know until two weeks later when I checked my checking account just random little charges here and there or it's I'm paying eighty eight dollars for the gym but last month they charged me 129 it's those little things that you need to be aware of every dollar counts in this journey every dollar and once you realize that you'll start to see how much it adds up and so it's about cutting those expenses you no longer need so you can reach your financial goals faster it's about how much do you really really want this and for me my son he's that important to me that's how much I wanted it so I cut everything out of my life that wasn't a necessity so I could pay off my debt so I could take him time going out to McDonald's for an ice cream cone without worrying about if I had money in my checking account to cover it that's real life and that's what's happening a lot of times with my readers it's embarrassing to share it's uncomfortable to share but unless someone says it out loud to let someone else in the world know that they're not alone change isn't going to happen change doesn't happen if you stay silent so establish a budget my budgets weird I'm not gonna lie most of the time people put down their categories on a piece of paper they assign a dollar amount and then they spend the rest of their lives trying to stick to that limit and not go over they fail they go back to that budget and they said next month I'm gonna get it next month it's not working you need to tweak you need to personalize what I've learned on my financial journey is that budgeting you creating a budget it's the most personal thing you will ever create it is the only thing that is a true reflection of your life your budget where your money is going it tells you what's important to you even if you don't know what that is where is the majority of your money going that's what's important that's where you're that's where you're choosing to spend it so obviously it has some type of importance to you and so establishing your budget it's paying your bills online now I do use the cash envelope method so my budget by paycheck method a lot a lot of my readers say well you do the cash envelopes so it's kind of like Dave Ramsey yeah it kinda is kinda is but what I tell my readers I'm not gonna force you to do anything I'm not gonna tell you there is no magical there is no magical percent of what you should be budgeting what you should be saving there is no thousand-dollar emergency fund these and steps this is the process you do it in your own way you do it with the mounts and the limits you're comfortable with my budgeting method is manual I do not believe in using electronic quote programs for your budget and a crazy a lot of people think it's a lot of hard work but it changed my life doing it that way most of the biggest aha moments that I found in my financial journey is because I decided to put pen to paper I was doing the work I wasn't plugging numbers into a program and letting it do the work for me I was doing the work and then all of a sudden doing that work is what made my finances exciting for me it was no longer like crap I got to work on my budget this morning I don't want to look at my bank account table I wake up I want to check my checking account I want to see what's going on because it's like yes 50 more dollars just went to my savings $50 closer the little things it's those aha moments like it took me many many years to figure out why my budget wasn't working one of them had to do with me putting myself in a box and not allowing myself to be creative and be my own self with my finances but a lot of it had to do with other little things and we'll get into that little later on your debt plan this is the scary time this is the this is the stuff that people are like I don't want to see it I don't want to deal with it if I ask them what's your interest rate on all of your debts how much a month how much daily are you getting charged for interest how much do you owe what does it do can it be reduced can it be negotiated can it be consolidated how do you figure out what to do with it what are your options do you use the Avalanche method do you use a snowball method now a lot of people Dave Ramsey he says snowball method gazelle intensity you pound out those small debts first and then you move to the next one me I'm a finance nerd I love my numbers and once I saw how much I was paying towards interest it was not an option wasn't even a thought to me when I saw that I could save over $15,000 just in interest payments here's something when I started paying off my debt my hardest that I had a $28,000 balance on a credit card that had 23 percent interest sleep with that at night okay try to figure out how you're gonna pay your your kids school clothes and his sporting events costs with an interest payment like that six over six hundred dollars a month gone poof into thin air but here I was being told to pay off my smallest debt first that had 0% interest wasn't working for me I chose the Avalanche method and if you if you are familiar I also have a YouTube I show you this miraculous tool that puts it side-by-side you lift out your debts how much do you save an interest with the Avalanche method how much do you save with the snowball method it will blow your mind and so what's your plan of attack for your debt organize your savings prioritize your goals when I ask people what are you saving for a rainy day just in case I need it in case my house blows up case my furnace goes out keep my washer and dryer stops working mergency fun okay but what about what you want what about the things in your life that make you happy that sometimes come up and you don't have the cash to pay for it so we use a debt or a credit card we use debt to fund the things that we want in our life that's what freedom meant to me I wanted to do the things and experience those opportunities without with my son without debt now I have a huge crazy goal to pay for my first house with cash I'm currently on a savings goal to save four hundred thousand dollars I don't I'm terrified of debt now do I believe that using a credit card is bad absolutely not if you have a review a rewards card and you can get those points you can get those free miles go for it all day long but you better be disciplined enough to pay it off every single month me I'm honest with myself I am NOT good with credit cards I'm a under at heart I'm the type of person you swipe card like pay with it later take care of it later my paycheck comes it's gone I don't pay it off later even though I like to tell myself that I'm the type of person I can't have credit cards someone else smile out there my readers are very good and they traveled the world for free using rewards points it's amazing I'm just not that way so you have to be honest with yourself with your debt can you honestly be disciplined enough to pay it off figure out your savings goals cuz that's where that's where your money needs to go maintain and x16 so there's my son who's name is James he just started rustling this little boy changed my life and I'm hoping by discovering your why and what matters to you because it goes beyond let's step outside budgeting and finance for a second you're why trickles into everything else that you do are you wanting to get a job promotion are you wanting to tackle another opportunity in your life are you struggling are you feeling depressed are you feeling defeated beaten down are you feeling like the people around you aren't supporting you you're why will get you through it so it's that passion it's that motivation it's that dedication all of this stuff that's what your why is going to give you that's what needs to be established before you even open a piece of paper to tackle your budget this is what my expense tracker looks like this is how I track your spending this is what makes you aware it's how you identify where your money is going every penny from here this is where you make change okay I wasn't too bad in September with my food sometimes a lot bigger but and I do this too because it keeps me accountable by sharing my real numbers with my readers it's like when I stopped at McDonald's for a Big Mac I'm like dang I got to share this with my readers today everyone all 145 thousand of my followers are gonna know I went and got a Big Mac today so it makes me accountable you may not have that accountability but if your passion is there in your drive is there to truly make a difference in your life you will start to see this accountability in yourself so does this make sense to everybody with the highlighter method okay eliminate in reduce the first step in the budgeting process is always tracking your spending and then you get to like this where you categorize all of your spending at the end of the month in September yeah so this is last year I spent $299 I had a $400 $400 budget for my food this is where you really get to see where the problem areas are and your spending this is what's going to give you the categories for your budget this is how you make a real as realistic budget a lot of people when they start a budget they write down categories that they think they're spending on spending money in food clothing supplies for my son gas fund money miscellaneous those type of things everyday everyday normal type of categories they wing it right this is making a budget off of what you're truly doing with your spending not only that it's gonna tell you what limits you use for your categories it's no longer just assigning fictional fictional numbers or unrealistic numbers because that's how you fail you tell yourself I want to spend $400 a month on food when really you're spending anywhere between six and seven hundred so you go through the month and you try to stick to a four hundred dollar limit even though you were really spending seven hundred and you fail you do it next month and you fail and you're like ok crap budgeting just isn't working for me no because you're using a number that's not realistic to your life now do my thing that you can't cut a category you can't cut expenses absolutely not but you cut it in small increments you want to cut your food budget awesome do it by $50 for the first month if you can do that the next month maybe bring it down another 25 this is how you reduce your spending now in this also I have savings this is gonna tell you where your priorities are if you're looking at this you'll see right now that okay so 13 percent of my income that month went to my rent and home yeah having a house is important to me having somewhere to live but right under that's twelve percent went to my savings that's what's important to me that's what my money is telling me that's important to me it's what my spending is telling me this is gonna tell you whether or not your spending is aligning with your goals most critical step you can't even start a budget without this first because it won't be realistic for what's really going on in your life this is what a budget looks like you pay your regular bills online from here listing out all your bills when they're due how much they are week all these fixed expenses they don't change very often they go from month to month you pay your regular bills online so you might be asking Miko what is the budget by paycheck method it incorporates three different budgeting methods all in one it's the calendar method the cash envelope method and the paycheck method I'm a paycheck budgeter I don't budget once a month i budget every time I get a paycheck sometimes it's a little hard to grasp one of the reasons I failed for so long I tried to squeeze myself into a monthly budget when my mind did not work that way I was paying my bills when I got a paycheck why the heck was I not budgeting my money when I got a paycheck I don't know because someone out there told me I had to do it monthly so I was listening to the experts this is the thing where I tell this is why making it realistic for you that's what you need to do that's what I'm doing a lot of people a lot of my readers say oh my gosh why didn't I think about budgeting my paycheck something you don't even think about because most the time you're handed a template and it's monthly so we're talking about my paycheck on December 20th here's my income I pay my bills I subtract my bills from how much I made I have something left over a lot of the time this is where people go crazy and their spending goes crazy and they're like where'd my money go I had this much money after I got done paying my bills where to go well how much do you spend on food could you tell me how much you spend on fun costs could you tell me where that money went a lot of people like no I had it in my bank account so I spend it swipe my card to play kid of the car or to the park so I'm a card got some yes slip my card me I use cash envelopes it makes your budget tangible being able to see how much money you have to spend in cash in front of you changed everything for me because I'm a spender at heart when I went to the grocery store and I go pick up soda for my son I'd open up my cash and balot for my food budget and I'd see I have $20 in there it's like crap if I buy this told put PACA soda this is how much I'm left until next week it's not worth the soda he can drink some water so what's left after you pay your bills you do your cash envelopes which means you go to the bank you pull out cash for your cash envelopes this is gonna be your lifeline this is what's gonna allow you to not overspend in fits and stop saying oh I don't know where money went it went here and you can see that stuff and what that spending is here knowing where every dollar is going from there I have eight hundred and eighty six dollars so I paid my fixed expenses I paid my variable expenses now variable expenses or what drive people crazy those those expenses that fluctuate up and down every month your clothing expenses maybe one month you spend 150 maybe the next month you spent 200 maybe it's back-to-school time august time to go and get your kids it's maybe it's $800 that month but if you have a plan for it this is where the budget calendar comes in having everything written on your calendar your holidays your events your bills your salon appointments all of that on a monthly budget calendar those are the things that you need to include in your budget I paid my fixed expenses I paid my variable expenses eight hundred and eighty six dollars left over what do I do with it me I learned very early on some holidays that were kicking my butt christmas came around I didn't have a thousand dollars what I usually spend on Kristin I never had that saved up so what I do I use my credit card put it on debt tell myself I'll pay it off with some Christmas cash that I got didn't even come close four years at least five or six years I put Christmas on credit cards probably why my credit card balance got so high because I couldn't pay it off not anymore I save and now it's not in this one but I save a little bit every month for the things that matter to me the things that I saw in my life that I was feeling like pressured to use my credit cards pressured to use debt cuz I didn't have the money I save a little bit each month and then I have them the cash available when Christmas comes so for this year I'll have $800 save for in cash for Christmas I don't have to wake up the next morning after Christmas and be like oh my god I just put $800 on my credit card who wants to wake up after Christmas morning feeling that way it sucks you see your son happy he got to open a whole bunch of toys but his mom we have to live with the guilt of spending and I think that was one of the hardest things that I had to deal with made my son happy gave him the life I wanted to give him and show him but I had to live with my decisions I didn't want to anymore so saving for the future next what are you trying to do your financial goals now some people would say Mikko I'm trying to pay off debt I don't want it to go to sinking funds or savings accounts I want to pay off my debt and go for it I'm not here to stop you if that's what's gonna make you feel at peace at night if that's what's gonna make you feel successful with your money do it for me saving for the future was more important paying off my debt was next now as you can see I was working on my student loans here oh goodness student loans suck so but I kicked their butt in December here's a perfect example how you save and pay off debt at the same time you see where my priorities are more with more of my money went towards debt my spending is telling me what's important debt but I still had a little bit I could save now some people think 5 dollars a month what does that get you $17 a month where does that get you it gets you to your goal in very small increments you do what you can do to get you to where you need to go even if it's five dollars so that plan everything you need to know to pay off your debt get it in front of your face it's scary and I hated every part of it but it's real life and until you're ready to see it on paper everything on paper in front of your face and you're scared of it you won't be able to tackle it so you got to create a plan listing out the debts that you owe your balance your interest rate your minimum payments and then you're going to decide what order you're gonna pay them off when you're on a debt payment plan journey you're going to tackle one debt at a time the rest of them you pay the minimum payments – whether you decide to pay off the debt that is highest interest rate or the one that has the smallest balance that's completely up to you it's what it what's going to keep you motivated okay it comes down to saving on interest is that what's going to keep you motivated or is it seeing your debt disappear quickly and that's what the snowball method you see progress fairly quickly because you're paying off that smallest balance first from there I write down any extra debt payments that I made pass my minimum payments these minimum payments should be included as bills you have to pay them every month they are a fixed expense you do not get to run away from them but you can choose how much you do extra in September I paid off $13,000 just in September by watching where every dollar was going by cutting my food budget literally squeezing every penny that I could because I was fighting for something fighting something that I knew could change my life and my son's life so this is what your debt payment plans to look like organized savings this is what my sinking funds look like my cash envelopes sinking fund saver I love my cash envelopes I like cute I like being creative it's bringing that fun element of budgeting and finance into my life I like artwork this is what I lean to to make my budget fun you may not be creative but I guarantee you along the way you will find things that you get excited about your money because I tell you right now if you're not doing this with your money you're not putting the best work for your dollars to use there is more that you can be doing with your money it can go a lot further to things that really to you for me it's saving for the future here's my I think yeah here's my Christmas thinking fun so this is making you intentional with your money it's planning ahead now my whole budgeting method is tutor you from using debt if you're paying off debt you should not be putting yourself in more debt but a lot of time when you live paycheck to paycheck you don't have an option I want to give you that option so this is organizing your savings and goals now it might not be holidays that you're saving for maybe you're saving for a vacation for your family this is how you do it a little bit each month cuz let's be honest who can put eight thousand dollars a month towards a vacation to Hawaii in one month no one but you be patient you be a patient spender you prepare you plan and I'll tell you what when you do get there and you're in Hawaii having the time of your life and the Sun and the beach you did it all without putting anything on debt you don't have to go home from a wonderful vacation wondering how you're gonna pay it off maintain and succeed your budget is a reflection of your life and I know I mentioned that you update and you tweak screw what everyone else says doesn't matter if something isn't working for you do not be afraid to make changes and I know a lot of you when you do you'll know right away the changes that you need to make you might just be scared to make them because you feel like it's not the right way that it's the wrong way it's not what you heard it's not what people are telling you it's your way that's the right way it's being at peace at the end of the night putting being able to put your head on your pillow and feeling secure and safe with your finances if you found this video helpful please share it and don't forget to subscribe

27 thoughts on “Budget Your Way to Financial FREEDOM

  1. Loved this! Informative enough that I took notes! Maybe I'm the only one who didn't understand the spelling changes reference?

  2. I used the paycheck method even used highlighters to match the bill to the payday too haha! I stopped for some reason for the past year or so then started watching budgeting videos today for ideas when I found you and you made me realize that what I was doing worked so I’m going back to it. I’ve never tried the envelopes but I’m excited to. All of your videos are great, thank you!! ❤️

  3. You presented this information well! You are helping and can help so many more people! Thank you for sharing your passion!!

  4. My firstborn was born Feb 24th and it’s time for me to go back to work unfortunately but i realized that his dad and I need to get out of DEBT for HIM! My son is my WHY! this video appeared on my suggestions just in time!

    Thank you!

  5. OMG where have you been all of my life?? This makes soooo much more sense!! Im going to give this an attempt. You way makes a lot more sense than what I have been doing! I kept creating a budget and I'll fail, then I'll say next moth I'll get it! Im just coming off of maternity leave, so I'll start tracking my spending the beginning of next month. Wish me Luck!! oh and Thank you!

  6. I absolutely loved this video miko.. my grandmother is now coming along on my financial journey and this was a perfect way to show her how I was inspired by you.

    We have really gotten into the happy planners from me and my big ideas. I bought some og your printables and I intend to put them into our planners. I thought it would be absolutely great for others who love happy planners to be able to use your stuff so I thought I would suggest a collaboration for you!

    Thanks for all that you've shared. You are helping so many people!

  7. I just watched this seminar and you are so inspiring. In order to stsrt this journey do you need to the monthly spender first then work on the budget. Like I have said before I get paid pretty much daily and I just don't know where to start. I'm so tired of struggling. My want and why is to just know that all my bills house, utilities, car and food will be paid and I'm not struggling to make them.

  8. A great presenter yes but the information your sharing is so spot on! It’s honest and real and can be applied because it’s something that works for…everyone…including ME! Loved how personal, honest, and transparent you were during this presentation! Back to the notepad and pen I go because I’ve already started my cash flow envelopes and am currently using your budget pdf file. Thank you! My credit cards will be gone by the end of April! I control my money, period!

  9. Thank you Miko!! I am so happy I found you!! You are so articulate and passionate. Thanks for inspiring me to get out of debt!!!

  10. I loved it! It was real and in your face honest and motivating. I started my budget in February and did well it was hard but I did better than I thought I would. March has been difficult because I’m still trying to figure out how to make it work for me. I am on a once a month income but it doesn’t always come on the same day I just know it’s coming near the end of the month so that makes it hard. I’m not going to give up until I figure it out. Looking forwards to the new workbook coming out. I hope it will be available for download too. Thank you Miko for your hard work and your guidance!!

  11. OMG!!!! You are a GREAT SPEAKER!!! I love your videos and have to admit I think I watched this like 6 times, you are really inspirational, thanks so much and keep up the great job!!!!!

  12. You are great at public speaking. This was a great presentation. I learned so much and thank you for confirming that I need to figure out a method that works for me.

  13. I loved this video! It made me cry so much thinking of how much James inspires you! You are an inspiration to us all, thank you for sharing!!!!

  14. This was so awesome Miko!! Wow!! Your energy and passion was transpired in that room, no 1 fell asleep I’m sure. 🤣😆. Congrats !!

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