If you’ve stuck with me through this whole budgeting process. Then you know the importance of a budget, how much you spend each month on bill, how much you spend on everyday items and your budget is done.
Now all that needs to be done is to follow your budget.
A Few Tips to Help You Stick to Your Budget
I find for our household budget it is best to have our money for everyday things in cash. We use an envelope system for our everyday spending. . If you think this would work for you it is easy to set up.
Each month when we get my husband gets paid, we take out what we need for groceries, medication, spending, out to eat, clothing, gifts and car gas. We place the amount we have allotted for each category into the envelope.
When I am going to go to the grocery store I just take what I need out and place the change back in when I get home. It does take a little planning but we have been using it for about five and a half years now. I also keep track of our purchases in our budget book for that category but this is really not necessary unless you want to. I just like to crunch numbers, I guess.
When the money is gone there is no more shopping for the month. If you prefer to use a debit card, I would suggest keeping track of how much is in each category in your bank account. So you don’t overspend during the month. Although there is something to be said for handing over cash when paying for an item.
Be Willing to Make Changes
As you first start sticking to your budget you might find a few areas of spending harder to stick to than others. If you have extra money in other spending categories be sure to adjust your budget.
I know some months we will need to spend more on gifts, for birthdays or Christmas. I’ll allot a few more dollars to gifts those months and cut back somewhere else in the budget.
If there just isn’t any wiggle room in the budget to make adjustments. Find new ways to do the things you love for less. If you love to eat out with friends, consider entertaining at home to save money. If you love movies, try the reserving movies from the library and watching at home for free. Find ways to save like borrowing, shop differently for clothes or save on monthly bills like water and heating. Little changes can make a big difference.
Plan for Splurging
Be sure to allow for a little splurge money in your budget. Even if it’s just something small. You would be amazed at how well you can stick to a budget when you know you’ll be able to splurge from time to time.
Sticking to a Budget Gets Easier with Time
Once you get the hang of keeping to a budget it won’t seem so foreign to you. Your spending habits will adjust and you’ll more than likely find it easier to stick to your budget without even thinking about it much.
You’ll be able to start saving for things you really want. You can plan to for it and watch the balance grow towards your goal each month. You might even find that while saving for an item, it becomes less important to you and you end up just keeping the money to apply towards something else. A great side effect of saving for an item, you tend to really only purchase things you really want, love, or need.
The next post in this series will be able credit cards. If you missed any of the previous posts you can find them here.
What’s helps you stick to your budget?
See all the posts in this How to Set Up a Budget Series