Budgeting is an underrated skill, but budgeting properly can help you manage your finances better.
This is more than typing sporadic numbers into a table, you need to create a plan that you can realistically follow, otherwise, you’ll be wasting your time – and your money. Let’s discuss some ideas on how to stick to a budget.
If you’ve started budgeting or have begun creating one, well done! This is a great first step to becoming financially savvy.
Budgeting isn’t the easiest thing to do, but putting in the work now can help you save for that car, house, or anything else you need in the future.
However, once you’ve got that budget down, it’s important to stick to it! It’s easy to dip into your savings now and then, but this can do more harm than good.
Budgeting won’t do you any good if you aren’t consistent. You need to keep saving and spending less every month to see results.
If you’re finding it hard to stick to a budget, you’re in the right place! You’ll find our best tips on keeping to a budget below, including things like meal planning, looking at your social schedule, and whether you should or shouldn’t have a credit card.
If you’re ready to start sticking to your budget and crushing your financial goals, keep reading!
How To Stick To A Budget
A quick search online reveals many tips and tricks to keep to a budget, but it can be hard to follow all of these. So you’re not overwhelmed, we’ve listed our pick of the best tips below.
Many people set goals that are just going to fail later on, as they aren’t realistic enough. These range from running every day to reading ten books each month when you don’t have enough free time on your hands.
Succeeding does involve pushing yourself, but you have to think about what your current level is.
This is also the case when budgeting. By all means, keep pushing yourself to save more each month, but be realistic about what you can achieve each month.
If you love fashion and new trends, You might say that you might not buy any more new clothes, but if you love fashion and the latest trends, this might not be the most realistic goal for you.
Despite this, you might succeed more by aiming to visit restaurants less and putting the money into your savings instead.
Think about what your passions and preferences are, then look at how you spend on those each month.
You can work from there to figure out a budget that’s realistic for you.
Use Your Auto Draft Feature
Use automatic auto drafts with your bank so that your savings and bills are paid once you get your monthly paycheck.
This helps you so you aren’t tempted to use the money for other things before important payments are made.
As the money enters your savings account before you can look at your monthly balance, you won’t be tempted to spend your savings on items that you don’t need.
Try Meal Planning
Fast food temptations may not seem like much money at the time, but slowly, they can add up to costs that could have been added to your savings.
You can beat these cravings by creating meal plans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including snacks.
Once you’ve made your plan, create a list of what to buy from the store, then don’t buy any other food outside of that list! It can be hard to stick to this at first, but with practice, sticking to your grocery budget will become easier to do.
Break It Down
If thinking of your budget in monthly portions is difficult, try breaking this down into weekly amounts instead.
For instance, if you allow yourself $200 every month for personal expenses, it might be easier to think of this as $50 each week.
Again, if your grocery budget is around $900, which is the average cost each month for a household of four, this works out to $225 every week.
Breaking this down like this means you can check your spending each week to see if you’re on track. If you’ve spent more one week, you can spend less the next, and vice versa.
Look At Your Social Schedule
Look at your calendar to see when important events are happening, then budget for them. For instance, your best friend’s birthday will be on the same day each year.
You can budget for the cost of presents, parties, and the overall celebration. Do the same for any other events that are on your calendar, like holidays, people visiting, and any other occasions that may be coming up.
Of course, surprises and emergencies can arise which may affect your budget. However, a lot of these unexpected situations are down to ineffective planning.
Check your social calendar when creating each month’s budget so you have a realistic idea of what you can save.
You don’t need to start your budget from the beginning to do this! Just copy all of last month’s expenses into this month, then add a few changes to account for any forthcoming events.
Dump The Credit Card
For the most part, credit cards won’t help you keep to a budget. They are usually excuses to spend on unnecessary items with the thought of paying them off tomorrow.
Despite this, tomorrow’s issue usually ends in large expenses that will affect how much you can save and spend.
If you want to keep to a budget, use your real, hard-earned money, either with a debit card or cash.
Over time, you’ll notice that your finances are looking better and you’ll have less credit card debt to worry about.
Now you know how to stick to a budget! Remaining realistic about what you spend and can put away is one of the most important things that can help you with this.
Other methods, like ditching the credit card, meal planning, and looking at your calendar are little things you can do that can make a big difference to your finances.
As long as you stay consistent, you’ll be able to crush your financial goals without sacrificing your lifestyle.
If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy our post on ‘What Is A Budget Surplus?‘.