7 Super Simples Ways to Stop Cheating on Your Budget

by Tracy · 0 comments

You’re not alone if you find staying faithful to your budget is a real challenge! It might seem impossible, but there are steps you can take to keep yourself on track with your spending and to stop stealing from your future – without sacrificing your lifestyle too much.

Don’t give up if the first budget you try doesn’t work. We’re all different people and one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to personal finance. Keep trying and you’ll find the method that fits with your lifestyle and personality.

Here are a few tips to try to help you keep within your budget.

Stop carrying your credit cards with you! If you really need to buy something, you can always run home and get it. In the meantime, keep temptation out of reach and force yourself to think hard about any impulse buys.

Try an envelope system. The way this works is you mark envelopes with designated expenses such as food, gas and entertainment and put cash in each. When that cash is gone, no more until the next paycheck. No more cheating and fudging!

On that note, use cash as much as possible. You’ll be much more likely to really “see” how much you are spending and feel the impact when you stick to cash. Plus, you won’t have to worry about those costly overdraft fees!

Look for ways to cut back that won’t affect your day to day life. Are you really reading that newspaper you get every day? How many shades of nail polish do you need? Can you go to a matinee instead of seeing movies at night and skip the popcorn and drink while you’re at it?

Dial up savings.
Schedule a few hours to call up the cable company, your phone company, insurance providers and other places where you have accounts and ask if you can get a lower cost plan. Do your homework and let them know about the deals the other guys are offering you. You might be able to talk your way into a lower rate or have some extras thrown in for free.

Learn how to save money while grocery shopping. Learn how to write a list and avoid shopping while hungry. Clip coupons and watch the flyers for deals. Cut extras that offer no nutrition, like soda, out of your diet completely. You might find that you’re not only saving money but you’re in better health as well!

Don’t forget an occasional splurge. If you don’t let yourself have treats everyone in a while, you’re setting yourself up for a spending binge. Figure out an amount that you can afford and designate it as your blow money.

Homemade Gifts. Christmas, birthdays and other gift giving occasions can be budget busters. Plain ahead to give yourself time to make something very special for a fraction of the cost of a store bought present. Even if you aren’t crafty, giving yourself time prevents a last minute panicked dash to buy something, anything and will help you stay on budget. Consider talking to your family about doing name-draws or family gifts during the holidays to keep them affordable.

Budgeting is an ongoing process

It can take a while before you find the right budget for you and your situation. Even if you’re having a hard time at first, keep tweaking until you find the right balance for you. Don’t be too proud to ask for help from your financially savvy friends! A professional financial planner or counselor can also offer an objective point of view and give you valuable tips for saving money.

With the right techniques, a budget can be the tool that brings you freedom instead of feeling like a burden that you want to shake off at the first opportunity.

Bonus Tip:

Did you know that you can save money with Netflix? Even if you don't plan on using the service, you should at least sign up for the Netflix free trial here to get some free movies for a month.

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