All you want is to save your money for your future and pay off your debt.
But you don’t know if you’ll be able to follow your budget.
I get it, I’ve been there. I’ve been on a budget for over a year now and I can now confidently tell you where all my money is, how it’s growing and how my debt is going down. All by following the budgeting tips that I’ve laid out for you below.
By following my best budgeting tips, you’ll be on track to follow your budget and stick with it, save you money and get you out of debt.
1. Make Your Budget And Follow It
Sounds pretty simple, am I right? Yes, it is, once you start budgeting you just need to glance at it when your paycheck comes in and you need to allocate where all your money goes. Writing it down makes it real and not just an idea.
There are a couple of ways for you to create a budget:
- Write it down on a FREE Budget Outline found on my How to Budget post. This is what I use, it’s simple and easy to follow.
- Grab yourself a free budget excel spreadsheet. I’m not a fan of spreadsheets, but I know some swear by it.
- Join a website that links up your bank account and bills so that you may monitor everything live. I’ve tried this and again it isn’t for me, but might be for you!
Regardless of which method you pick, as long as you pick one and you stick with it, you’ll start to see your spending go down, your savings go up and your debt disappear.
2. Separate Bank Accounts
Separate bank accounts will make budgeting easier. I have about six, I’d have more if my bank would let me. When I get paid, the money automatically goes into the correct bank account: yearly expenses, dog food/vet, vacation/gifts, etc.
3. Pack a Lunch
Cook from scratch. Prepared meals, take away, and dining out will cost you far more than you will ever realize even if you think you’re dining out at a cost-effective place.
Meal planning and grocery shopping are key to staying on track of your budget. If you plan your money then you won’t have the urge to go out every day.
Communicate with your other half about your budget. It’s important that you’re both in the loop on this. If he/she is spending money that you’ve already allocated, then your budget can derail quite quickly.
I have a separate bank account from my boyfriend but he gives me grocery money every week for us to use the budget I’ve created.
Use cash as much as possible. Seriously, it’s so much harder to spend cash.
And with cash, you can have a envelop system that will guide your weekly spending.
I have my envelopes filled every two weeks:
- Laundry (we have a coin machine in our apartment building)
6. Wants vs Needs
This is a good mindset to have. Don’t spend money on things you don’t need. The need for something is more important than the want for something. But don’t forget about the want, it’s also important for you to splurge a little when it’s budgeted.
I give myself 20$ a week for date nights, stuff I want. I try to save my 20$ for bigger products or events that I want to have or do.
Before you go and impulse buy, think, is this a want or a need?
I also ask myself how long did I have to work for this money? Just for me to buy something that’s a want and not a need. That usually changes my mind.
Keep your needs and wants separate! And be honest about which is which.
7. Leave the wallet at home
If you’re going somewhere and you’re not planning on spending any money, don’t bring your wallet. I stopped bringing my wallet to work and I just bring my driver’s license and work pass.
Now, when coworkers ask me if I want to join them to go out to lunch, I simply say no thank you, I left my money at home. Less pressure, more control over the situation. I use to bring a lunch and just cave when someone at work would ask the group for an out of lunch adventure.
Window shop with your wallet at home. What you remember, you can buy if your budget allows.
8. Grocery & Hunger Don’t Mix
Never go to the grocery store when you’re hungry. You tend to buy more food when you’re hungry which means you can go over your budget.
Plan your groceries and meals and create your weekly grocery list and stick with it! If there’s money left over then keep it for the rest of the week in case you forgot something.
If at the end of the week we still have leftover money, we tend to treat ourselves to either a dinner out or a dessert for the weekend, depending on how much we had leftover.
It can be hard at the start when you’re settling into your new budget. If you keep at it, you’ll start to see results in your financial goals. With these simple, easy to follow tips, I can assure you you’ll see those results sooner than later. Just to recap:
- Create your budget. On Paper, a spreadsheet or an online service.
- Have separate bank accounts to allocate to different financial categories.
- Packing a lunch can save you so much money and keep you on track while budgeting.
- Make sure your other half is aware of what you’re trying to achieve.
- Use cash as much as possible.
- Weight the wants versus needs.
- When you’re not planning on buying anything, leave your wallet at home.
- Don’t do your groceries while hungry, you’ll be grabbing everything that’s not on your grocery list.
Let me know below if you use other tips and if you follow any of these!