This is a collaborative post
Almost everyone has found themselves in a situation where they are scratching their head at the end of the month wondering where all the money went. With the constant growth of the economy, many people are facing financial challenges trying to stick to a household budget. They often get the feeling as if money is controlling them and not the other way around. This is because we began to no longer physically see the money. We use credit cards and thanks to the development of technology we have the opportunity to buy anything we want on the Internet from groceries to clothes to all kinds of services. For that reason, we often lose track of where all the money goes, leading to financial crises. But it doesn’t have to be that way because luckily there are many ways you can employ to better align your spending with your needs and all you have to do is do your best sticking to it. In this post, we are giving you five foolproof ways to stick to your budget and regain control over your money.
Optimize your spending
One of the main keys to having financial freedom is to optimise your living costs. You probably know that most of your expenses are predictable. That means you know how much you need to pay for rent next month, how much your phone bill costs, or how much you spend on groceries monthly. By optimising your budget you are spending your money on necessary things rather than buying something you don’t need. However, there are times when you want to buy something but either you don’t want to spend a lot of money on it or your budget is very low, then you can spread out your costs in monthly or weekly instalments. This way you will be able to plan your budget beforehand and opt for purchases with credit plans. You can do this by using the options of online catalogues, such as Catalogue247, which offer you this opportunity to not overwhelm your budget and have the financial freedom you so desperately need
Identify your financial goals
Setting financial goals is another foolproof way to stick to your budget. First, you must figure out what matters to you the most. It is basically buying what you need versus buying what you want. Setting your priorities straight can help you outweigh this matter. Second, you must create a realistic budget. Get a handle of how much is coming in and how much it is going out, and then work from there. Third, if you have planned your budget beforehand and stick to it as much as possible you may be in luck and reach the end of the month with a handful of leftover money. That doesn’t mean that you should spend it all on a new piece of clothing, but you should automatically direct it to a separate savings account that you will have for rainy days. Identifying your financial goals can be far-reaching, but having a plan and following it can be very helpful in the future.
Develop SMART financial habits
You need to make sure that your financial goals are clear and reachable. That means that they must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. Once you have set out your financial goals, then you can develop your financial habits. For example, if you are one of those people who like buying breakfast every morning on their way to work, you can change that by preparing your breakfast before work. And yes, you may have to get up earlier in the morning to have enough time to prepare your meal, but look on the bright side. You will be saving your money in a very easy way which will soon turn into a habit only if you do your best sticking to it. You have to start small and make your way up. No matter what kind of financial habit you choose to take up, it will definitely get you closer to achieving your financial goals.
Plan your week beforehand
Before the start of a new week, it is recommended that you create a list of what you need for the upcoming days and stick to it. It is more manageable to plan how much money you are spending on a weekly basis rather than monthly. With a clear weekly budget, you will have a better opportunity to see where the money actually goes. For example, a very useful way to plan your weekly budget is to divide your expenses into compulsory and lifestyle. These include going grocery shopping, purchasing new clothing or even going to dinner dates. Creating a grocery list is a mandatory expense which is recommended that you plan one week ahead. However, slowing down with your general lifestyle expenses such as buying new clothing every week can help you keep a healthier budget. Keeping track of what you spend on a weekly basis can make it easier to plan your monthly expenses.
Control your expensive habits
At the beginning of this post, we mentioned optimising your budget. That doesn’t mean that you must cut down on your general lifestyle expenses entirely, but you should try your best to control them. One expensive habit that seems to be taking a rise is dining out. According to data from the Office of National Statistics, people in the UK spend about £30.80 weekly on dining out. After a long day at work, you probably wouldn’t want to cook dinner, but try not to turn it into a habit and do it every night. Instead, add a particular “take out” day in your meal plan and avoid dining out that often. Another expensive habit is going shopping, especially buying something you don’t really need or can’t afford. In order to control this, instead of taking out money from your weekly or monthly budget, put away a small amount on the side and buy it after accomplishing something as a reward to yourself.
Sticking to a budget is very difficult for some, however, with careful planning and organisation you can create a successful financial plan that won’t drag you down in debt. You have to start small and work your way up in identifying your financial goals which will help you with achieving what you want in life. Follow these few tips for sticking to your household budget and you will reach that financial freedom in no time.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post