Whether you’re living on a paycheck or are running a multimillion business, you need to have a budget and stick to it to manage your finances properly. Now, there is a myriad of tips and tricks that can help you do that. We’ve rounded up seven of the best and most creative financial tools and methods to help you stick to your budget.
Take advantage of Mint.
Mint is one of the most popular finance tools there is. It’s a free, web-based resource that lets you manage your savings account, investments, credit cards, retirement funds, and other accounts to give you a clearer picture of your financial health in an instant. Another most important task that Mint makes easier for you is to allocate a sound budget for your household. It also warns you if you’re not sticking to it. Plus, it recommends financial products that let you save more money in the long run.
Use You Need a Budget (YNAB).
YNAB is one of those useful financial tools and budgeting software you should be using to help you allocate your money well. Aside from that, you also get access to tutorials, budgeting tricks, and financial literacy classes. It also has a mobile version for both Android and iOS devices.
Take out all the options that let you cheat on your budget.
If you believe that your credit cards are the bane of your financial stability, then you either stop carrying them unless you really need to or get rid of them once and for all. You should also clear out all stored payment information on your favorite online shops so you can’t easily click on the checkout button whenever you find something you like. By doing so, you are getting rid of anything that could potentially tempt you to go over budget.
When you’re the only one who’s running on a tight budget among your peers, it’s easy to get tempted to splurge. If you’re really committed to making your budget rule and sticking to it, you have to find a group that is like you. This could be from an online forum, social group, or another set of friends. That way, you’ll get more tips on how to successfully manage your finances.
Set up visual aids.
If you’re saving up for something, like a trip abroad or a dream car, post pictures, or other symbols that would remind you of your goal. You can also have a big glass jar where you can place loose change, which can be your alternate savings. All of this will keep you reminded of the long-term benefits of sticking to your budget.
Get yourself educated.
Some companies organize seminars and workshops about personal finance and financial tools. Take advantage of these events because you’ll learn a lot about budgeting. You can also watch podcasts and read articles and books about financial management to know exactly what you need to do to succeed in sticking with your budget.
Follow a periodic evaluation.
You can’t always know what you’re going to spend next week or next month. A change in career might require you to upgrade your wardrobe. A sudden illness could force you to take a huge portion of your budget. So to be always prepared for the inevitable, schedule a periodic evaluation of your budget. That way, you’ll know if you’re gearing toward your long-term financial goals.
Sticking to the budget can be easier if you follow some tips, as said in the following ways. Indeed, if you are opting for the best tips that are actually functional for your endeavors, it is advised not to follow all of them. Following “tons” can be extremely difficult! Sow have narrowed it down to a greater extent.
Keeping it real
Have you observed your steps for a goal is made up of landing upon the failure? For instance, say, you need ten books a month when you are barely left with free time! Or you can also promise yourself to run 10 miles a day when you don’t have practice for running for even a meter! Yes, it is true that if you want to succeed, you have to push yourself, but at the same time, you need to be practical and realistic!
The same goes for your budget too! You have to push yourself to save more and spend better. If you say, you won’t be buying any new clothes all year can never be realistic, if you already have your winter clothes falling apart! Instead of this, try out a month-long challenge. In a way, you can control your restaurant spending and put that saved money as a current goal. The simple formula is, when you keep it real, you can actually swim, that’s it!
Setting up an auto-draft
To make the process smooth and easier, you can set up automatic bank drafts to have some bills and savings paid directly from your paycheck. In that way, you would not be touching your money long enough to be tempted to put that $300 for your emergency fund. Don’t spend your money buying something that is not potentially required in the next few months!
Planning your meals can be an excellent idea!
You have to beat-through temptations that can actually burst the restaurant budget. And remember to keep your money-grabbing machines at bay! You can do this by planning your meals- lunch, breakfast, dinner, and snacks. To make it for another level, just prepare the appropriate grocery list and stick to it. In this way, meal planning can save on your restaurant budget lines and grocery.
Thinking weekly wise can help!
At times, you want to break some budget lines into some weekly portions to effectively spread out your spending, right?
For instance, let us take an example. Suppose you are giving yourself $200 for your personal spending, you can think of it as $50 a week! If you are keeping aside $894 in your grocery budget(this amount is the average monthly spending for a family of 4), in that case, you will be spending $223 a week. So, you have just divided that large amount into sections that are easy to evaluate!
Checking your social calendar can be effective?
Hey, your BFF birthday does not change. It remains on the same date every year, right? Budget for it right in advance so that you do not have to plan from your budget lines and get your savings touched! Or how about if you are hosting a book club in the next week? Budget it! If your family is coming in from out of town. Budget it! So, you got the idea?
Yes, it is to note that the emergencies and surprises can pop up any time that can affect your budget. But do you know a lot of what we call “surprises” can maybe just qualify for poor budget planning! So, to avoid this, you can check your social calendar when making each month’s budget. In that way, you can realistically approach for a better saving amount each month.
Ditching the credit card can be the best!
Take these words to fit appropriately in your minds- credit cards do not, in any way, help you to stick to your budget! In fact, you can find the credit cards to be a motivator to spend like crazy with the ruling mindset for tomorrow’s problem. Guess what, “tomorrow’s problem” is a lame excuse, and you are definitely better than that!
If you want to really stick to your budget, do not ever use someone else’s money that is weighed down with interest fees. You can always prefer to use your real money, maybe debit cards or cash. This is how you can stay away from the excuse for spending today and repaying them in much greeter amount after a certain time!
Connecting your spending to your work
Obviously, you work hard for money; otherwise, you may have preferred some other blog over this at this time! But rarely when spending money, do people connect it to the hard work and labor that went in for earning that?
For instance, you want to buy a pair of shoes set at $100, and you are not overthinking it. Will it have the value for your purchase? For that, you may think about the labor that went in for buying that pair of shoes. You might see and calculate their value in a new light! Here is the trick to do just that- calculate how much you get paid per hour! In this way, you can compare the product’s price to the amount of work that went in to make it possible for you.
The bottom line
With the help of these financial tools and tricks, you’ll be able to succeed in sticking to your budget.