9 Tricks for Sticking to Your Budget

April 23, 2020

Budgeting is like exercise: some people love it, some people hate it, and some people commit to it at New Year's only to quit after 3 weeks. If you're part of the Don't Love It team, here are a few helpful hacks to make sticking to your budget a little easier.

1. Don't overspend. Seems pretty straightforward, right? You'd definitely think so. Problem is we love impulse buys. And eating out. Movies. All that fun stuff. Give yourself some spending money each month but try to stay within that limit.

2. Following that train of thought, try not to impulse buy. Think about what you want. Sit on it overnight if you need to. Many of the 'I want that!" moments can be avoided if you give yourself some time to think it over.

3. But also, give yourself an allowance. This is important (and why we said it twice). We all want to treat ourselves from time to time. Having a personal allowance helps us avoid dipping into other areas of our finances. 

4. Keep all your receipts. It's easier to know what you're spending money on If, well, you know what you're spending money on. Keep your receipts in a folder or put the information in a doc as soon as you can.

5. Cut back on eating out. $8 for lunch doesn't seem like that much, does it? If you do it daily, that's close to $2,000 per year. Packing a lunch every now and then can help you save some money for other things.

6. Save your excess. If you finish out the month with a little more in your pocket than you planned, consider putting it into savings. This extra money could (and probably will) come in handy down the road.

7. Research your purchases. Look for the best price, quality, and durability. Don't always go for the cheapest; spending a little extra might mean a purchase that lasts longer. When in doubt, see what other people have to say about it.

8. Drink water. It's usually free.

9. Consult your budget often. Budgets should be reviewed daily. Even if you don't spend anything that day, going over your budget frequently will help you stay aligned with the goals you set.

Final Thoughts

Be flexible! Don't force yourself into a budgeting style that feels off or uncomfortable. The goal of managing your money is to help you feel free and in control of your finances. Find the budgeting methods that work best for you and go from there!