How to Stick to Your Budget
If you’re constantly dealing with money troubles, it can seem like the only thing worse than formulating a budget is having to stick to one. While managing your finances can be tough, it’s not impossible to do, and with a few tips to help you budget, you can save your way into better finances with ease.
- Keep track of your spending. While you should ideally track your spending habits for a month, if you can track the amount of money you spend in a week you have a much better idea of how good your budget is and whether or not it needs to be adjusted.
- Keep it realistic. If you allot yourself $10 a month to buy coffee, but know that you usually end up stopping twice a week for a cup, you’re going to very quickly stray away from your budget. Instead of telling yourself that you’ll cut out all unnecessary spending, knowing that you won’t, try compromising; allow yourself a little more money for coffee, but try only stopping once a week to indulge.
- Plan out your meals. In the same vein of thought as not shopping when you’re hungry, don’t shop for whatever you see that looks good in the store. Plan out your three meals a day for the week and go to the store with a list of only foods you need to make those meals. This will help prevent impulse purchases and unnecessary spending.
- Use cash. If you’re having trouble keeping track of all the money that you spend, shy away from plastic and start paying everything in cash. Set aside the money that you need each month for bills, food, and savings, and keep the rest for spending money. Holding the cash in your hand and seeing exactly how much money you have left to spend can help you spend it more wisely and avoid extra spending.
The hardest part about a budget is building one that’s best suited for you that you will definitely follow. Once you’ve built your budget, and have committed to sticking to it, the rest is up to you.