Stick to Your Monthly Budget : Budget planning is about telling your money where to go rather than wondering where it went. But even when you have planned out everything keenly, sticking to a budget is still no easy feat. You might be tempted to dip into your college savings to go on that road trip you always wanted to take in high school. In fact, you can often be surprised later at how incredibly persuasive your brain can be when it comes to buying things that burn a hole in your pocket.
Despite being a challenging thing to do, sticking to a budget can be remarkably satisfying. Telling your money where to flow gives you extraordinary control over your finances.
Regardless of the type of your dreams, planning a budget and sticking to it is the first step to financial freedom.
Time Tested Ways to Stick to Your Monthly Budget With Ease
Read on to find out 6 easy ways that can keep you from swaying away from your budget!
1. Cultivate a Money Philosophy
Consider your spending behavior as a reflection of the kind of person you are.
Every now and then, sit down and reflect on your purchases of the day. If you do not like to be defined by what you purchase, like processed food, liquor, cigarettes, then perhaps it’s time to make better purchases. Here is an article on money and finance philosophy.
Above all, cultivate respect for the money or possessions you have; that which you respect cannot be thrown away easily. Such a philosophy will change the way you value things and turn your mindless spending behavior into a more sensible and informed decision.
2. Sleep on Big Expenses
If you are about to purchase something that you don’t really need, it is best to give yourself a few days or a week to reconsider your decision.
This is especially true for big expenses that can have a major impact on your budget. They should be put off to give them a second or even a fifth thought. When you take that time to reconsider, ask yourself what impact that particular purchase will have on your budget and savings. Is there a payment plan that might disrupt your budget or throw off your savings? What benefits will you get from this purchase? Are the benefits worth the cost?
Once you have the answers to all these questions, only then should you make up your mind about going ahead with the purchase decision. Chances are, you might have forgotten about the purchase altogether after a week. This is the best strategy to talk yourself out of purchases that are unnecessary.
3. Set Up Auto Draft
A lot of times we deviate from our monthly budgets when we use up the amount that should have been for paying a bill for something else.
A great way to avoid this is to set up automatic draft payments for some of your bills and savings. This way they will be paid straight out of your paycheck. Neither will you get the chance to touch that money nor will you be tempted to spend that $150 of emergency funds on impulsive buying.
4. Stick to Your Monthly Budget By Walking Out on Your Credit Card
When you use a credit card to buy something, you are, in fact, using money that you don’t have yet.
Overusing a credit card has various adverse effects with “it’s tomorrow’s problem” being the worst of all. You start spending more than you make, adding on your monthly debts, hurting your credit scores, and rending your future goals.
The best way to break this cycle is to constantly remind yourself that you have to stick to your budget. And the most important rule for sticking to your budget is not to use someone else’s money which is also weighed down with interest rates. Using your cash or debit card helps you avoid the ‘tomorrow’s problem’ mindset and make inroads into achieving your goals.
5. Use the Old Envelopes Approach
Borrowing money from one section of your budget and using it in another is a slippery road.
Once you set out on it, it is bound to take you downhill. When you do your budgeting on a spreadsheet, it’s easy to fudge the numbers a bit to make up for your impulsive buying. It kind of gives you a ‘spend now, fix it later’ mindset, which in the long run, drain your savings and other sections of the budget.
In order to avoid this problem, use the old envelopes system. Put cash for each expense in a different envelope and make it a point not to borrow here and there. Once you have made that rule, there will be no overspending, if there’s no money.
6. Review Your Budget Regularly
Lastly, keep your budgeting and financial situation constantly fresh in your mind. When you remind yourself regularly about how much you have spent and how many things you still need to pay for, there is no way you can go off track. Not only will this habit curb your urge to overspend, but it will also motivate you to save more whenever you can.
Sticking to a budget isn’t about limiting yourself, it’s about making the things that you are passionate about possible. You might have a bad month that can discourage you and make you want to give up or you could use the same experience to plan better.
The truth is, even a thousand mile journey starts with the first step. And a budget is a financial tool that can kick start your journey to your dreams. While anyone can master the skill of budget planning and sticking to it, some might have a steep learning curve. The trick is to use these above tips and strategies that will set you up for success.
Live your life the way you have always dreamed of with a compass, rather than a clock.
Let Doctor Money App be that compass to help you get to your destiny. We can help you manage your personal finances to reduce and manage personal debts. The app is especially designed to assist the user in managing expenses and evading impulse buying. So, get the help you need today to keep your eye on the goal!