Now that you’ve built a budget outlining your income and expenses, the trick is keeping up with it. Establishing a few habits can help ensure that you don’t spend more money than your budget allows.
Here are five tips for sticking to your budget:
- Write out your shopping list before you go to the store. Stick to this list and only buy what you need, which will help cut back on impulse spending.
- Take out your spending money in cash. Do not allow yourself to use debit or credit cards for extra “fun money” when the cash runs out.
- Set up automatic transfers. To ensure you are setting aside money for savings, set up an automatic transfer to your savings account each time you receive a paycheck.
- Focus on the end goal. While being disciplined in your savings can be tough, it’s easier to stick to your budget when you keep the end goal in mind – whether that’s paying off a loan, building an emergency savings or being financially secure.
- Re-evaluate as necessary. After a few months, you may realize a few categories where you’re stretching your budget too thin. For example, if you have been putting $200 to savings but can really only afford $100, don’t be afraid to make an adjustment.
These adjustments can help you stay on track with your monthly budget.