How to stick to a budget
With the recession hitting everyone, learning how to stick to a budget is not only important, but necessary. While it is not too easy, it is not too difficult either. The following tips will hopefully make things more clear.
How to stick to a budget
1. Determine your goals
Deciding to stick to a budget just because, it is not enough to actually make it happen. You need to determine the goals you are hoping to accomplish by sticking to a budget. Write them down on a piece of paper and study them carefully. If necessary, divide them in categories. Keep that piece of paper in a place where you can read it on a daily basis. Starting with short term goals is a wise move, as it will help you take one step at a time and not expect too much of yourself too soon. For example, you can start with saving $100-$150 without spending them. As you will accomplish those short term goals, you can start setting long term goals.
Visualizing about all the things that you will be able to do if you manage to stick to a budget can serve as a great motivation. Be detail-oriented and focus on every single thing. If you manage to see your dream becoming reality right in front of your eyes, you will be more eager to do everything in your power to make it true.
3. Make money difficult to access
If you establish a habit to keep money in a savings account, things will be easier for you, as you won’t be tempted to spend it. If you keep it in the house or if you always carry a big amount with you everywhere you go, do not expect too much from yourself. Even the most self- disciplined person would not be able to resist the temptation to spend money in such a case.
4. Envelopes for every purchase
Divide your purchases in categories and for every category, use a specific envelope where you will put the amount of money you are going to need. For example, you may have an envelope for entertainment, an envelope for the cell phone and an envelope for clothes. After spending the money in each envelope, you will have to wait for a month to make a new purchase for each category. That is a method that can instill financial discipline.
5. Free is good
Take advantage of everything that comes free. As far as entertainment goes, make the most of free entrances to museums, art galleries, theaters and concerts. Look for free samples on every product you are interested in. There are plenty of websites offering free samples to try out. All you have to do is fill out their sample request forms as well as sigh up to get regular updates to your inbox. Not only will that help you save money, but will also help you decide on whether you actually want the products or not.
By learning to stick to a budget, you will manage your finances more efficiently, eliminating the chances of debt.