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We all have found ourselves in situations where our expenses exceed our allotted budget. We all set goals and a fixed amount of money to spend the month in and save some for later use but are we able to save some bucks at the end of the month?
Not really! That is because we are all generally bad planners and fail to stick to our budget. There can be a lot of reasons why we fail to contain our expenses within the decided budget; not devising a realistic budget, not sticking to the rules, being a shopaholic by nature or because we lack discipline.
Whatever the cause may be, if you desire to stick to your budget and not be a spender or hoarder, then this article is meant exactly for you.
If it is any solace, I must tell you that if you find yourself in hot waters financially at the end of every month then you are not alone. According to a survey, more than 8000 people search for effective budgeting tips and tricks every freaking month.
That’s how many people fail to stick to a budget and always exceed their expenses (not talking about those who are not included in this survey). But you get the idea right; there are a lot of people struggling to stay on a budget, stay within their financial means and save something for rough times, their children’s education or just to take their dream vacation.
Here is an easy, realistic and effective guide for you to read, register and plan your next budget accordingly. Not only will these budgeting tips help you in creating a realistic and efficient budget but will also help you in sticking to it.
But before we begin and discuss the budget method (which I assure you are plenty and pretty confusing too), it is highly important to lay down the basics. Without consistency and honesty, no budgeting tip or formula can help you. No matter how hard you find it in the beginning, you will slowly but surely get into the practice of abiding by the rules and then there is no stopping you from sticking to the budget every time.
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Decide your goals
It is a well-known fact that if you don’t have your eyes on the goal or let alone clarity about what is it that you wish to achieve; the journey is always going to be a tough one. Therefore it is pivotal that you set your goals and objectives loud and clear. Once you know what you are striving for and what is it that you will achieve if you stick to your budget, then it will be an easy path to follow.
In this case, set your budget goals; this means that you need to decide how much you want to save from your total income and how much do you want to spend. Once the goals are clearly chalked out and defined, it is easier to abide by the rules and achieve the goals. Remember, clarity is everything.
This for me is the most crucial step in your budgeting journey. You need to identify the factors within yourself that make you overspend. What qualities or characteristics of your own personality you need to work on in order to achieve the budgeting goals. You need to check your spending habits.
In order to do that effectively, the most optimal way out is to keep a record and note down everything that you spend over the course of one week. This will help you gain an insight into where your money is actually going. Are you overspending?
Are you wasting money? And can that extra amount of money being spent can be saved or reduced?
Needs over Wants
Quite often when we have the means, the human mind has the tendency to confuse needs over wants. This is a very simple phenomenon that needs to be understood in order to achieve a balance in one’s spending habits. What we often want is not necessarily something that we need.
Consider, for example, the new top you saw online that you instantly fell for. Buying this top is a want (because you already have a closet full of tops) and not a need. You can do without buying this one extra top and consequently staying within your budget.
Obviously you have the means to satisfy both- needs and wants. But once you are on a budget and you aim to save some of your money then you need to prioritize needs over wants.
Make using the card a big no-no!
This does not seem to be a very big step in trying to stay within budget but it sure is. Once you have limited cash in your wallet and using a card is a NO, then you make sure you by things that can be bought within the limited cash. No card means no overspending.
Always make it a point to save
Once you aim to save and plan to do something meaningful with that saving, budgeting becomes an easy task. Always plan to set aside a fixed amount of money to save that can be later used upon your heart’s content and desire.
Always include the unexpected in your budget
Life can throw a curveball at you at any given point. During the course of a month, there are numerous unexpected expenses that pop out of nowhere. If you catered them in your monthly budget, you are sure to exceed the allotted budget and caught off guard.
Budgeting is all about will power, consistency, dedication, and smart work. Once you lay down the rules, you need to stick to them. Set goals but make sure they are realistic and achievable, set targets for your own self (just like treating yourself to a nice dinner at the end of a long day), don’t give up, don’t be tempted and be flexible.
It’s okay to exceed sometimes when the need is but make sure you don’t give in and then there is no stopping you. Happy budgeting!
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