The world is going through an economic crisis, so it has become more crucial than ever to stick to a budget and save money.
However, the thing is that sometimes it is easier than said. Before you download an app or make a list to prepare your monthly or weekly budget, you will need to get completely honest with yourself and assess your spending habits.
Sometimes, it comes down to replacing our bad money habits with better spending habits. You will want to recognize those bad habits and replace them with better habits that will eventually help you gain control over your finances.
Assessing and amending one’s bad spending habits is also the first active step toward reaching one’s financial goals. To make things easier for you, we have prepared a list of tips that will help you with making a budget and then sticking to it.
Here are the tips:
Create a Budget
If you aren’t good with spreadsheets, you will find countless apps for budgeting. Choose one and download it on your phone. This way, you will get a real assessment of your incoming and outgoing money.
The right budgeting app can help you plan and manage your monthly expenses – and more importantly, you will have a roadmap to follow. You can also link your bank accounts to the apps, which will eventually allow you to maneuver your money to the right places.
The key to successful budgeting is to pay yourself first before you pay your necessary expenses. Many people make the mistake of paying their bills and their mortgage and buying clothes and dining out – and whatever is left – they forward that amount to their savings account.
However, if you truly want to enjoy financial freedom, you will want to follow the golden rule of paying yourself first. In simpler words, at the start of every month, when you get your pay, you will want to send at least 10% to your savings account and thus establish an emergency fund for yourself.
Visit Joy Wallet to learn more about savings accounts and how you can create an emergency fund for successful budgeting. Once you have paid yourself, you will want to pay your mandatory bills, and if something is left – you can buy nice things too.
Use Banking Features to Your Advantage
For a better and stronger financial future, you will want to take advantage of your online banking features. Online banking is useful for tracking your spending habits.
The thing about cash is that it can be a bit hard to keep track of what is leaving your wallet. However, the case is different with online transactions, where your bank statement will show you accurately where your money is going and from where it is coming in.
Today, many online banking features have advanced to the level where you can use them efficiently for budgeting.
Here is what you will want to do – assess your online banking features and see whether and how they can be helpful with your monthly or weekly budgeting.
For instance, some banking features will allow you to establish virtual spots and enable you to “set aside” money that will then be used for certain purposes, with you needing to set up multiple banking accounts.
The best part about online banking is that you have access to your finances 24/7. So, you will want to use inline banking to your advantage – especially for effective budgeting.
Prepare Your Meals at Home
Eating out and ordering in can cost a lot of money, and if you are serious about saving money and sticking to a budget, then you will want to be mindful of meals and meal preparation. Ideally, you will want to use a meal planner to plan your meals in advance for an entire week.
Having a meal plan and sticking to a weekly and monthly plan comes with countless benefits. The most obvious benefit is that you will be saving loads of money in the long run. Eating out is costly – even if you eat out during happy hours.
And why would you want to pay for cold meals to be dropped at your doorstep? Moreover, the worst thing that you could potentially do to your health is to consume junk food and accept food through the car windows.
The best thing that you can do for yourself and your wallet is to plan your meals mindfully with the help of a meal planner. The key is to check your fridge and pantry every week when you set out to plan your meals for an entire week.
You will want to make a list of the items and foods that you already have. For instance, if you have pasta and chicken, then you have the ingredients ready for one meal, which means that you don’t have to buy them in your weekly groceries.
You will also want to make a budget for your weekly grocery and stick to it. You don’t necessarily have to consume meat every day – on three days out of seven, you can opt for cheaper alternatives of protein, such as beans and legumes.
Once you start preparing meals yourself – even from scratch, you will start to see the amazing benefits. You will be preparing meals in batches and maximizing your budget along the way.
When Buying – Choose Cash Over Credit
People tend to buy more when they use credit cards – the underlying reason is that they don’t see the actual money “leaving” the card, which creates a distancing impact. Now the trick to spend less on shipping is to leave your credit card at home and take cash with you.
By leaving your credit card at home, you can also avoid temptations. Even better – you will want to place the credit card somewhere else – a place from where you cannot retrieve it easily. Also, if you have online shopping accounts, you will want to remove your credit cards from there.
This way, you will be very cautious while shopping online and offline.