Budgets are a great thing for everyone to have, but they aren’t always the easiest thing to stick to. Between spending urges and unexpected plans, it can be easy to cheat. If you are having trouble sticking to a budget, here are five tips to help get you back on track.
Know budgets are not one size fits all. If you are having a hard time sticking to a budget, maybe it just isn’t the right budget for you. Track your spending so you can create a budget you can stick to. Understand it is not realistic to keep your food spending to $200/month when you are currently spending $400/month. Make small changes, and continuously reevaluate your budget to see where you can make additional improvements.
Leave some wiggle room in your budget. Open a second checking account for money that can be spent on whatever you want, and open up a second savings account to cover any non-emergency events, like a field trip for your kid, or a weekend away for a wedding. Ensure this wiggle room isn’t costing you and take advantage of the fee free checking and savings accounts that credit unions can offer you. Giving yourself some freedom in your spending will help lessen those impulse buy urges.
Budgets require constant monitoring. Sometimes your spending can get out of control because you’re not paying close enough attention to it, much like a three-year-old child. Don’t just look at your money once a month, or on paydays. Log your spending and monitor your budget daily. Pick the same time of day to help make it a habit.
Don’t give up over one (or ten) budgeting mistakes. I will take time to find a budget that works for you, and for you to get into the habit of sticking to one. Use your budget buster splurges as a learning tool for the next month. Eventually it will become second nature.
Utilize budgeting tools. Make it easy to track your spending and see where your budget is right from your phone. Sandia Area Mobile Banking has great budgeting tools that allow you to keep track of spending in several categories.
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