Budgeting can feel difficult or overwhelming, but with these five tips, you can stick with your budget and meet your financial goals.
1. Don’t Over Budget Yourself
On paper, it can look great to save 50% of your income and not spend money on anything non-essential, but that’s not the reality.
Be realistic when creating your budget, making plans to spend and save money that’s within reason. For example, budgeting to save 10% of your income is much more feasible than something as crazy as saving 50% of what you make.
2. Create a Meal Plan
Meal planning may not seem like it has to do with your budget, but it may help you avoid spending on fast food. When life is crazy, and you don’t have the right ingredients at home, it’s easy to run through the local fast-food joint or eat at a restaurant. When you meal plan, you have everything you need to make the meals and are less likely to overspend.
3. Cut Down on your Bills
If you have too many bills, it’s easy to stray from your budget. Take a few minutes to review everything you spend money on and cut out what you don’t need.
For example, streaming services for TV and music can quickly add up. If you’re paying for multiple services for TV and music, it can quickly add up, and you might forget about the funds coming out of your account. Simplify your bills, and it will be easier to stick to your budget.
4. Lock up the Credit Cards
Credit cards shouldn’t be an extension of your income. If you use credit cards when you don’t have the money for things you want, lock them up. This will force you to stick to a budget because you can’t spend money you don’t have.
5. Find an Accountability Partner
Even if you’re married, if you aren’t on the same page about finances, it can be hard to stick to your budget. So first, try to find someone with similar goals who wants to stick to a budget and is willing to discuss the changes and struggles necessary to meet their goals.
You can use one another to avoid impulse purchases, swiping the credit card, or going over budget. Someone on the same page can also give you insight on how to improve your budget.
Everyone needs a budget, no matter how much money they make. Your money needs to know where it should go and how you should spend it. Budgeting includes your regular bills and your ‘fun’ spending, saving, investing, and debt payoff.
Create a budget you can follow, and enlist the support of someone trustworthy to help you stay on track.