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How To Make A Budget And Stick With It

Jan-8-2018 By Barbara Zak

These days, saving up is becoming the number one priority of many money-makers in the country. Not only do you want to have a good safety cushion in the case of an emergency, but you also want to be able to retire comfortably without having to worry about your funds drying up. Budgeting is one of the best ways to save money, but sticking with one can be a struggle. Keep reading to learn different tips and tricks to sticking with the budgets you create.

Wait To Make Purchases

Kneejerk purchases are a mistake everyone makes when it comes to sticking to a budget, and it’s only getting harder to control those impulses as online shopping makes buying things easier and easier. Many sites these days like Amazon have options now where you can save an item for later. If you see something you feel like you absolutely need to have, try sticking it in the “save for later” folder instead, or bookmark it and revisit it at a later point in time. After the initial urge to purchase something has faded, you’ll be more likely to pass on the chance to drop your money.

Keep Your Budget Flexible

Your financial situation won’t stay the same over time, so why should your budget? Instead of rigidly sticking to the same plan month after month, year after year, try to reevaluate your budget every so often to make sure it’s still working for you. If you’re really struggling to stick to yours, it might simply be a bad fit. Examine your expenses, determine how much money you’re taking in and letting go of, and design something new that works for you from there.

Note How Many Hours Of Work Something Costs

One great way to keep yourself from spending too much money is to reframe the way you think about the money you’re spending. That 20 dollar bill isn’t just 20 dollars. It represents hours of work that you’ve done. Is a movie really worth an hour of your working time? Do you really want to spend 3 hours at work to afford that new pair of shoes? If you start thinking about money in terms of how long it took you to earn it, you’ll likely find yourself naturally inclined to spend less.

Don’t Count Money You Don’t Have

This means after-tax income, bonuses you don’t have yet, or other potential sources of money that are just “maybes”. No one ever really knows if those bonuses will work out, or just how much you’ll be paying or getting back in taxes. Pretend like that money doesn’t exist at all until you actually have it in your hands or bank account, and adjust your budget accordingly. This will make it much easier to stick to, since you won’t have to readjust your estimates in a hurry.

Leave Room For Fun

Any budget should leave a little bit of wiggle room for fun spending. No one person is going to be perfect enough to stick to their budget to the tee every single month. Instead of letting yourself run wild, though, budget in your fun room! If you’re looking for more info on how much you should be tucking into savings and how much “free” money you should leave, there are plenty of online resources that delve into the subject. Generally speaking, the money you save for fun stuff should be what’s left over from your paycheck after you cover your necessary expenses and savings.

Budgets don’t have to be your enemy. In fact, they should be a good friend and an invaluable tool to you while you navigate through the tricky financial waters of adulthood. Try implementing some of these tactics and see what a difference they can make.

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