Creating a budget is easy but the real challenge is sticking to it. The most common reason for breaking your budget is it can feel restrictive and, sometimes, impulsive buys get the best of you.
Though, it is not a valid excuse. If you continue to go over budget regularly, you won’t be able to increase your savings and you can potentially run out of money.
Since sticking to your budget is a real challenge, today, we came up with a few ways so you can do it more efficiently.
Ask a Friend for Help
There is nothing wrong with asking your friends for help. Ask someone to check in on you about your budget every week. It can be a friend, a relative, or even your spouse.
What you do is give them a short report about your budget. What days you were able to stick to it, and what days you went over budget and why. Own up to your mistakes and try to work out how you can avoid it the next time around.
Having someone to report your progress can help you stay focused on the goal. Support and encouragement can go a long way.
Associate it with a Fun Activity
Budgeting is one of those activities that you don’t look forward to. In fact, for some people, just thinking about sitting down and trying to allocate your money for the week is daunting.
Change your mindset by associating budgeting time with something fun. Let yourself have your favourite treat while crunching the numbers or even allow yourself a reward afterwards like a walk to your favourite store or something similar. When you do this, budgeting doesn’t seem as dull and can be much more enjoyable.
Designate a No-Spend Day
Every little thing adds up. That means that whenever you go to the store to buy, no matter how small, every day, that can add up. And before you have a chance to see what’s going on, you’ve overspent your budget.
To avoid this, assign a day every week where you will refrain from buying anything from the store no matter how little. Better yet, take a look around your house once a week and list down anything you are running low on or are out of so you can pick it up on your weekly grocery trip. Doing this will lessen your drive to the grocery store and will always ensure that you have everything you need at home.
When you cut your budget back, stay within reason. Remember, a budget is there, so you have enough money to spend on your needs, not deprive yourself of necessities.
Once you have set your goal, try to put away a little at a time towards it instead of taking big chunks of your food allowance. This is an excellent way to allow yourself the freedom to still buy the things you need and build up your savings without much difficulty.
“Out of sight, out of mind”, this is a system that allows you to put money away in envelopes and designate each one of these envelopes for a specific budget. For instance, one can be for your weekly groceries, and one for your daily budget for two weeks. For the weekly budget, you take what you need for the day, and make it last for the period it is designed for. If you overspend, you will not be allowed to take from the other envelopes.
This method has been around for years and it is useful to help curb people’s impulsive buying habits. You can do it traditionally or utilise an app that offers the same functionality.
It’s never too late to start budgeting your money and turn your life around. All you need is the drive to do it and the will to stick to it no matter what happens.