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5 Tips to Sticking to Your Budget

by Samantha Bennet on 2013/07/13

5 Tips to Sticking to Your Budget In my younger years, I didn’t really care about budgeting or see the significance in having one.

That mindset ended up getting me into a heap of trouble which lead to stress and financial problems. However, over the past years I’ve learned just how important budgets are and the power of sticking to your budget can work wonders with your finances and give you peace of mind.

Though it does seem rather simple, the fact is not everyone can really stick to their budget. For most people, like me, it takes a lot of will power and strength of the mind to stick to a decided budget. However, here are some simple tips that have really helped me. I thought I should share.

Plan Your Purchases
The mantra to creating the perfect budget is to plan all your purchases and spread them over a course of a few months. I now try to think of all the big purchases that I can foresee. For instance, if I want to buy a laptop and a new refrigerator, I plan it out in such a way, that I buy the laptop in one month and the refrigerator in another. This helps keep the burden off me and I can comfortably spend on some of the other purchases that I may have planned.

Use Cash for Everyday Purchases
I usually take out a set amount of cash at the beginning of the month and then use this cash to make everyday purchases. I use this money for groceries and other expenditures around the household. When you use the cash, you can easily keep track of how much money you have already spent and how much of it is left over. This gives you a greater handle on your expenditures as well. When you see the wad of cash dwindling, you keep yourself from making unnecessary expenditures.

Recently, I’ve started using prepaid debit cards especially for purchases like gas, gifts, eating out and vacations. You can easily load your set amount of money onto the card for the month or week which helps you stay within your budget. This works great for kids as well. Be sure to choose a card with no monthly fee if you have that option.

Use your Credit Wisely
It is tempting to use your credit card for making large purchases. However, do not overdo the purchasing on your credit. Remember that you will eventually have to pay off the amount that you owe on your credit card. Not making monthly payments can result in huge penalties and a lot of interest. Therefore, try to pay your credit card bills every month, before the due date. If you have made a very large purchase on your credit card, make sure you are taking advantage of cash back or rewards credit cards to get those added benefits for using your card.

Track Your Expenses
I find it very easy to track my expenses by using software like Quicken. There are a lot of different options for budgeting software available commercially. These programs can help you record all your expenses and keep very close track of them. This also helps you ensure that you are not spending more than you have budgeted on any of your purchases. It also keeps you from making unnecessary expenditures.

When You Can’t Decide, Sleep On It
If you are not sure whether you should make a large purchase or not, sleep on it for a few nights and talk about it with your significant other. This will help you plan your purchases better. You can prioritize each purchase and procure the items in a more planned manner.

Do you have any of your own tips and tricks for sticking to your budget and does it involve any austerity?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank July 15, 2013 at 7:13 am

My wife always waits for a few days before making a big purchase as she used to be prone to impulse purchases. I reckon that about 50% of the time she ends up not purchasing the item because she waited. So it has worked out really well.


Samantha Bennet July 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I do the same thing! I think it really helps me think before I make big purchases that could later leave me with buyer’s remorse.


Sam Gill @ Digital Spikes July 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm

I never use to follow budget when i had a full time job, though i use to plan it but never follow it. But after switching to full time entrepreneur and frugal mindset i am able to meet my budget, cut my expenses and save money


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