Creating a budget is the easy part. Sticking to it can be much harder! Here is how to stick with your new budget.
Curb Impulse Spending
Don’t keep your credit cards in your wallet and don’t save them to online shopping sites as part of your account. When it comes to discretionary spending, use your debt card. If you need to use your credit card for a purchase, wait a day. If you still need it after that day, decide which part of your budget will cover the expense.
Be Frugal in Smart Ways
The dollar store is a great place to get beautiful gift wrap and greeting cards. You can also save a lot of money picking up pet food bowls, puppy pads and pet toys at the dollar store. When in a big box retail store, compare brands. Quite often the house brand is cheaper and just as good – if not better. Also check out local non-chain stores. They often have unique and high quality items that will last a long time.
Set it and Forget It
Have a set amount of your paycheck automatically directed to your emergency fund or savings account. Don’t wait until the end of the month to see what is left over to save.
Keep a Separate Spreadsheet
Your bank balance does not reflect expenses that come out automatically, such as your bank fees at month end or any bills you have automated. At the end of each day, update a spreadsheet with your purchases and pre-list automatic payments. That way you will know how much you can spend and avoid surprise overdraft fees.
There are many great apps to help you create and stay on a budget. A few options include YNAB, Intuit Mint, and PocketGuard.
While sticking to a budget may seem like a hassle at first, it will ultimately give you a sense of purpose and freedom. A budget helps you save money, avoid unnecessary debt, and avoid costly overdraft fees and interest payments. If getting on top of finances is your goal, don’t just make a budget; stick to it so you can have the financial freedom you deserve.
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