Budgeting comes with many advantages including the ability to manage money effectively, avoiding impulse buying, organizing your savings and expenses, among others.
However, many people are unable to stay within their budgets for different reasons.
If you are unable to stick to your budget, the good news is that there are simple strategies you can use to make the most of your budget no matter how lean and still enjoy a good lifestyle
Some budgets may go very well with your preferred lifestyle while others may not. Different people will be ok with different techniques; choose a technique that can lead to the right path towards your financial freedom
Tips to help you stick to your budget
1. Cash Is King
Pay with cash as much as you can. Going “card-less” may help you remember the true cost of items.
While there are some times swiping that card might seem absolutely necessary, many families have shown since this great recession, that it’s entirely possible to live on cash only.
2. The Envelope System
Take several envelopes and designate each with your different expenses and allocate each envelop an allowance that you wish to spend at a particular time.
For instance if you budgeted $150 on eating out every month, take an envelope label it eating out and put in $150 and put it away. When you run out of money in that envelope, you don’t eat out again until the next budget cycle.
This simple trick can help you help you stay on track with your budget.
3. Cut Back
There are numerous ways you can reduce on your expenses and make the most of your budget. For instance you can reduce on your utility bills by adjusting your thermostat a bit, pack your lunch, or make your own coffee instead of going to Starbucks.
4. Shop Smart
Look at your grocery shopping list and identify what you can replace or reduce.
Shopping directly from the farmers market, using coupons or taking advantage of discounts and special offers can save you some money.
Store brands are often smart shopping. Don’t be shy to compare prices.
Shop thrift stores and consignments; you’d be surprised what bargains you might find.
5. Shop with List
A really bad mistake you can make is shopping without a list. Many times, you will end up spending money than you wished to.
Make a list of items you need to buy and stick to it no matter how the salesperson tries to convince you about great deals on items that you had not initially planned to buy.
Furthermore, be careful whom you take shopping with you. Avoid bringing that friend of yours who likes impulse buying.
Some even advice: do not go shopping with your kids. And don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry! That’s a recipe for over-spending.
6. Spoil Yourself Occasionally
Spoil yourself once in a while … within your budget. The key here is to budget, and save up for it. For example if you like going on vacations, you can plan and budget for your vacation well in advance.
With some forethought and smart shopping, you can get good deals on your travel and accommodation.
7. Consider Homemade Gifts
For Christmas, anniversaries, birthdays, your loved ones probably expect gifts from you throughout the year.
If you are on a lean budget, consider giving your loved ones homemade gifts.
Homemade gifts seem more creative and well thought out than a bought gift no matter how expensive the gift might be. For instance, you can make a gift basket with fruits from your garden, or make a photo album or even scrap book.
Put your craft-making and sewing skills to work and the final product will be more precious than any type of bought gift, plus you might save you some money.
Keep Working your Budget
If you can’t seem to stay on your budget no matter how you try, just don’t give up you aren’t alone. Keep trying different strategies and tricks until you find a system that works for you.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. A personal financial adviser can give you more strategies or a custom plan tailored to your specific needs and conditions.
A budget can be a great tool towards your financial freedom with the right techniques and strategies.