Creating a budget is easy, sticking to it is hard. This post highlights a few simple ways you can create the budget you need and follow through.
In January, we set our goals for the year. We’re in the second quarter of the year and it’s time for a weigh in. How’s it been going? Are we still on track to achieve our goals? I hope your answers are positive but if they’re not that’s ok, I’m here to help.
One area that I can help with is finance. If you’re like me with quite a number of financial goals, staying on top of your spending is crucial. But how do I keep it all in check? I create a budget and stick to it.
Budgeting is not easy for everyone so I’m sharing a few simple ways I stick to my budget and meet my goals.
Remember why you started
As the days turn into weeks then months it’s easy to forget why you’re saving. After all, those Vans won’t buy themselves. But when you’re trying to buy a car or repay debt buying a cool item is not a priority. Instead, when I’m tempted to buy an item I like I remember why there’s a budget in place.
Make a list
Lists are my bestfriend. Making a list to shop can be the difference between a small shopping trip and a big one. Has anyone seen those target memes? don’t let that be you. Make a list whenever you make plans to shop. The list should include wants and needs. Ensure that the differentiation is clear and always start by buying what you need. If there’s some extra money left you can treat yourself to a want the change can afford.
Mentally prepare for setbacks
There’s always that one unplanned event that costs you money that you didn’t plan to spend. That’s ok. Although it may be inconvenient life is unpredictable and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, try to create an emergency fund that you’ll add to each month. This way if something comes up you’ll be prepared and if nothing does, you’ll have extra money to meet your goal.
Make your goals visible
Put your goals on your mirror or your vision board so you see them daily. Meditate on them. Spend time reminding yourself why you chose them. It’s harder to forget something you see every day. A daily reminder will help you stick to your budget because you know what the sacrifice is for.
Weigh the pros and cons of each purchase
Try not to impulse shop. Before making a purchase carefully think about the usefulness of the product to you. If it’s not useful and not a priority don’t get it. However, there will be days where your priorities will be covered and you’d like to make a little splurge on yourself. In such a case I suggest making a list of things you want versus those that you need. With that, you can still keep track of how you spend even if it’s not a need.
Leave the cash in the bank
Leave your cash on the card. It’s way easier to avoid spending cash when you don’t have cash on you. I discovered this only recently. Since I’ve been driving I make far fewer impulse purchases because I usually have very little cash on hand. Typically the cash I do have is for making lunch purchases and not much else. I don’t buy the midday and afternoon snacks anymore. Nor do I make windowing shopping trips that often turn into actual shopping trips anymore. As a result, I’m able to save more. Try only carrying around just enough cash for the week and let me know if it works for you.
Practice shopping intentionally. We often make a shopping list for groceries but how many of us make a shopping list for clothes. The thought behind this is to have an idea of what you need instead of buying the cute top that caught your eye. For me, this means buying dresses because I find them comfortable and efficient when I need to dress up in a hurry. Think about the items that you lack in your wardrobe and shop for them rather than buying 6 similar bodysuits.
Practice seasonal shopping. To add to the previous point shopping at my major sale events twice a year is a good way to stick to the budget. always shop the sales. It doesn’t have to be a major sale period like Black Friday but if you shop with a company often enough you know the other times of the year you can get great discounts.
Hope these tips help you stay on target. more tips will be shared each quarter so keep chasing those goals guys.
Have a great week.