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Tips to Help You Stick to a Budget
A budget shouldn’t be about saving as much money as possible. A monthly financial budget is there to guide you into financial stability while enabling you to enjoy the perks of life. Nevertheless, without a budget, it can be easy to tip the balance, one way or another.
Most people have made a budget before, but fewer people have managed to stick to their budget for an array of reasons. Here we discuss three ways to overcome failure and stick to a healthy budget.
Stick to a Budget: How to Make a Budget
The method of making a budget is straightforward but sticking to it is harder.
To uncover your budget, you first need to calculate your monthly outgoings, including rent, bills, food expenses, money put towards savings goals, and an allotted amount of money for a cappuccino with friends and other social activities. Sitting down and doing the math is the only way to uncover your personal or family monthly budget – but knowing your budget does not always help you stick to it.
The Best Tips to Stick to Your Monthly Budget
The best way to stick to your budget is with the following tips. Use these to overcome overspending mistakes and keep on top of your finances.
Track Your Spending
You may have an allocated sum of money for groceries each week, but many of us make top-up shops on the way home from the office and can lose track of actual spending. The best way to control and calculate realistic costs against projected costs is by making a Microsoft Excel budget template.
Not only will a budget spreadsheet help you keep track of the current month, but it also allows you to take a look at spending through a wider lens over many months or even years. Don’t worry about being savvy with spreadsheets either because anyone can use this free monthly budget template from Wonga.
Make It Automated
Most families use different bank accounts to make mortgage payments, do groceries, and save. To help make sure you only spend an allotted amount on certain things each month, you can automate the process.
How does this work? It’s easy, and all you have to do is set up standing orders between your bank accounts for the amount of money you wish to spend on each aspect of your monthly spending.
For example, if you wanted to save 10% of your income each month, make a standing order from your current account to your savings account the same day you get paid. This will stop you from spending that money on other things not accounted for within the budget.
If you need help working out how much you need to save each month in a specific period of time, some online calculators can help too.
To stick to a budget, there is more to it than having your finances in order. You also need to remove the potential for mistakes and overspending. Here are some ways of preventing pitfalls and going off track:
- Use a grocery list before shopping;
- Leave credit cards at home when not needed;
- Consult your budget spreadsheet frequently – and update it;
- Make the whole family aware of the budget;
- Prioritize spending on the necessities first.
Always Be Realistic!
Success is what motivates us to keep going and follow through on a plan. By setting unrealistic financial budgets that we are destined for failure, we are only setting ourselves up to become disengaged with our budget altogether. Whatever your budget, make sure you are realistic about the budget you create.
Nobody is going to live on beans on toast every night of the week!