It's challenging enough to monitor your spending habits and consciously think about where your money is going, let alone stay within your financial boundaries. The day-to-day planning can become monotonous. Living in the moment seems so much easier than planning in advance. It may be easier but it is not helping you plan for your financial objectives. Budgeting is key to achieving your financial goals. If you’re one who struggles to stick to a budget, Simply Money Advisors has a few tips to help you.
Out of sight, out of mind. By auto drafting your bills, you don’t have to think about it. Everything from savings amounts to your car loan can be put on an auto draft program. This will ensure that your bills are paid for every month and you’re putting money into savings too. Auto drafting can make budgeting easy and a monthly habit.
A word of caution, you still need to look at all of your statements each month, especially your credit card bills. Don’t assume that there won’t be any errors. Technology can fail every once in a while, and you want to make sure all of your bills and deposits are taken care of. Also, make sure you aren’t paying for phantom, monthly subscriptions you are not using such as NetFlix or Amazon Prime. These subscriptions can really hurt your budget, if you’re not paying attention.
Plan for meals
Try planning and making all of your lunches and dinners in advance. Even if you dislike leftovers, you can still establish a meal plan that can fit your family’s needs. Eating out all the time can become expensive. Meal planning can not only help with budgeting but it can also save you money on your grocery bill. And meal planning will help you prevent buying items you don’t need.
Evaluate social activities
Social activities can be overwhelming to your schedule and budget. If not properly planned for, it could leave you with a lot less “play” money than expected. When RSVP’ing to events, look at your calendar and budget ahead of time. Scheduling three dinners back-to-back could put a strain on your pocketbook. You’ll enjoy your social events a lot more if you plan ahead.
“App” it out
There are countless apps that help you with budgeting. By using an app, you can always see your budget while on the go. Apps can be great tools to help you keep track of your spending. They can even send you notifications to let you know your saving progress or when you need to make any budget adjustments.
Create a clear vision
What are your financial goals? What motivates you? Having a vision will help you stay on track. Put reminders on your phone or create a vision board you can look at every day. By seeing what you are working toward will help you follow your budget and at the very least will remind you why you have a budget in the first place.
The Simply Money Point
They are plenty of ways to stay on track with your budget. Get creative. By having a specific vision for your financial goals, you can stay motivated.