Admitting you have a problem with money is the first step to taking control of your finances. We’ve all been there: You go to the store to buy one thing, but come home with a cart full of unnecessary items. You take out a loan to pay off another, and then rack up thousands of dollars of debt on your credit card. But, as tough as it is to face, it’s time to accept the truth: You have a spending problem.
Whether you’re saving up for a new car or just trying to save a few extra dollars to go on vacation, sticking to a budget is hard. The best way to make sure you’re not overspending is to set a certain amount for your expenses and stick to it. This may mean eating out less or resisting the urge to buy the latest gadget. Having a plan in place will make staying within your budget easier, though, so check out our advice on how to make it work for you.
Sticking to a budget can be hard, especially when most of us have gotten used to having what we want when we want it. But the older we get the more we realize that money doesn’t grow on trees, and we have to start getting smarter about taking care of our finances. So, how do you stick to your budget? It’s a lot easier than you might think. Here are 9 tips to get you started:
Budgeting is a good thing. It’s even better to stay within your budget! Because honestly, what good is a budget if you don’t stick to it? I’m going to share with you some of my favorite budgeting tips that help us stick to a budget throughout the month. If you want to step back and make your budget, I have a detailed post on how to make a budget (fast!).
1. Make it real
I’d love to have a $50 electric bill, no pet expenses, and only $25 a week in groceries, but that’s not going to happen. You will not be able to stick to your budget if it is not realistic. A budget is not a wishful thinking, it is a plan for your real life. It would be nice to pretend we don’t eat out, but if we don’t set aside enough money for the eating out category, we can only be heading for failure. The more realistic your budget, the easier it will be to stick to it. If you want to change something about your spending, start small. Reduce your budget significantly in the categories you have chosen and give yourself time to get used to the changes.
2. Check this
This is probably where most budgets fail. If you’re not reviewing your budget, why create one at all? How do you know how much money you’ve spent on groceries and how much money you have left in that category? I check our budget daily to note our expenses. Although it sounds a bit complicated, I have found that if I do it daily, it only takes two minutes and I always know exactly where our expenses are. It’s easier to do it more often. I have a free spending list you can get to start tracking your expenses today! This is a good starting point to improve your finances. Please fill in your details on the form below and I will send it:
3. Choose a format that suits you
Many preach that ____ but is the way to budget. I’m not one of those people. Whatever budgeting system you choose, it should be one that you can stick to. This may mean using money envelopes, printed charts, an appendix or others. It may take a few times to find something you like, but when you find something you like, use this system.
It may be useful to break down the budget categories into smaller parts. I budget for the month, but I also like to have a weekly amount in mind for certain categories. Our monthly grocery budget is usually $300, but each week when I go grocery shopping, I aim to spend $75. If I spend $75 every week, I’ll be within our monthly budget. If I spend more one week, I know I have to spend less the next week to meet our monthly budget. You can also split your entire monthly budget by salary if you are more comfortable doing so. Breaking down your budget into smaller goals will help you stay on track and within budget.
5. Monitoring progress towards the target
It’s a great budgeting motivator for tracking your progress toward your financial goals. It’s much easier to stick to a budget when you know it will get you closer to your goal….. (Pay off debt, vacation, new couch, whatever!). I like to keep track of our goals visually with my thermometer impressions. You can get it for free by filling out your information below!
6. Question All Questions
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A great way to stick to your budget is to make it a habit to question everything: the soda at the gas station, the sweater on sale, Netflix, chips, dog treats – everything! Some useful questions to ask
- Do I really need it?
- Is there anything else I can use?
- Can it wait?
Of course, many expenses are absolutely necessary, but if you make a habit of questioning everything, you can avoid many unnecessary purchases.
7. Expectation of imperfection
Things rarely go as planned. But that doesn’t mean you should stop budgeting. Budgeting is a continuous process of adjustments and efforts. It’s okay if things don’t go perfectly. After ten years of budgeting, it’s rare that everything goes according to plan. But despite all the inconveniences, we were able to achieve a lot with our money!
8. Communicating with your family
Communicating with family members and involving them in budgeting will help everyone stick to the budget. It is especially good if everyone has a say in the budgeting process and knows what goals they are trying to achieve with you.
9. Give a holiday gift
The final way to stay within a budget is to plan a special treat that you will only get if you stick to your budget! If you’re on a budget on the last day of the month, you might go out for dessert, watch a movie, or buy a video game. Knowing that you’ll only get something sweet if you stick to your budget can be a great motivator. Remember: A budget is only useful if you stick to it! Which of these ideas can you apply to stay within your budget? Leave a comment and let me know!
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Since the start of the recession, Americans have been tightening their purse strings, creating a shift in the way we handle our money. As a result, more and more people are trying to figure out how to stick to a budget. Unfortunately, the budgeting process is rarely as simple as simply saying “you should have one.” While that may be true, what’s even more true is that we all have our own budgeting needs, so what works for other people won’t work for you.. Read more about how to make a realistic budget and stick to it and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you stick to a budget?
Whether you’re a parent, newlyweds, or single, chances are you’ve thought about sticking to a budget. After all, if you don’t have control of your finances, you could end up spending most of your hard-earned money on things you don’t need. The good news is that creating a budget is easy, when you take your time to plan out a realistic spending plan that works for you. Read on to learn how to create a budget you can stick to. We’ve all been through it. You save up some money and make a budget for the month, only to blow it on a couple of nights out with friends. And before you know it, the money is gone and your bank balance is in the red. It’s frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead of trying to figure out how to stick to a budget, why not focus on how to make your budget work for you? Everyone has different needs and different spending habits, so there is no one right way to create a budget; the key is to find a system that works for you.
What are 10 ways to save money?
It’s hard to save money. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that, I’d be a millionaire. (But I’d have to pay taxes on it, so I’d be out 60 cents.) For some, it feels impossible to save money. For others, there’s always something to spend their money on. The problem with saving money is that there’s a mad rush to spend it. Here are 10 tips for saving money in an easy-to-follow format. Saving money is a great way to ensure that you have enough money to do all the things you need to do. Here are 10 ways you can start saving money: 1. Cut cable. 2. Use coupons. 3. Use price comparison sites. 4. Use a price book. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
What are the 4 general tips for budgeting?
Budgeting is one of those things that’s easier said than done. It’s easy to list all the things you need to do to stay on top of your finances, but actually doing them can be a lot more difficult. In fact, a lot of people think that budgeting is so hard that they avoid doing it at all. This isn’t a good strategy, though, because without a plan, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you won’t be able to stick to your finances. That’s why we’re here to help—we have four simple tips that will teach you how to create a budget that works for you. We live in a culture of debt, with the average consumer having over $6,000 in credit card debt alone and many people with mortgages to pay. In spite of this, some people still manage to keep the lid on their finances, and if you want to be one of them, there are some definite things you can do. Here are the general tips for budgeting that have helped me, and many of my friends and family members, keep our spending under control while we still have enough money for the things we really need.
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