How to Stick to a Budget: 18 Budgeting Tips for Beginners, does this sound familiar to you?
If you’re like most people, you probably have good intentions when it comes to budgeting, but find it difficult to stick to a budget over the long term. This can be frustrating, particularly if you’re trying to get your finances in order. But don’t worry – with a few tweaks to your budgeting approach, you can make sticking to a budget much easier.
How to Stick to a Budget: 18 Budgeting Tips for Beginners
When you’re new to the idea of budgeting, it can seem like an intimidating task. If you’ve never followed a spending plan before, sticking to one can feel like trying to hold back the ocean with nothing but your bare hands.
But it doesn’t need to be that way! When you understand exactly what budgeting is and how it can benefit you, creating and sticking to a budget is easy. And the best part? Once you get started budgeting, you’ll never look back.
Why would anyone want to create a spending plan, anyhow? There are tons of reasons: financial security and stability, peace of mind and stress reduction, and even a sense of accomplishment. These are just a few of the many reasons people budget.
If you want to start or improve your budget, check out these 18 tips for sticking to a budget:
1- Track your spending
How much money do you think you spend on a typical day? A week? A month? If you’re like most people, you have no idea. But tracking your spending is the key to understanding where your money goes and how to make changes that will save you money.
If you don’t know where your money is going, there’s no way to tell which areas of your budget are lacking or could use improvement. Track every penny that comes in and goes out to get a clear picture of your spending habits.
2- Get everyone involved in your budgeting plan
Creating and sticking to a budget can be tough, but it’s definitely doable with a little effort. One way to make the process a bit easier is to get everyone involved.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s just you or you and your partner; everyone should be involved in creating, following, and sticking to a budget. This is especially important for married couples where both individuals are bringing home money.
Budgets that work best involve both people equally. That means both individuals should agree to the budget in its entirety. If one person is not willing to stick to the terms of the plan, it will not work.
3- Create a budget and stick to it
Creating a budget and sticking to it can be difficult, but it is definitely worth it in the long run. If you are struggling to make ends meet, or just want to get your finances in order, creating a budget is the best way to start.
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when creating a budget. It’s not enough to just create a plan if you don’t follow it. Even if you do everything right in creating a budget, it will fail if you don’t stick to the limits and guidelines set forth in your plan.
If you’re not enjoying your newfound budget, reevaluate what you’re doing and see if there’s a way to improve it.
4- Pay debt off quickly
You may be wondering how you can pay off your debt quickly. There are a few things you can do to help speed up the process.
If you have debt, you know how much it can drag you down. You feel trapped and helpless, and you worry about how much longer it’ll take to get out of the hole.
You don’t have to live like that, though. A budget is a huge help in paying down debt quickly. You’ll know exactly how much you can afford to pay each month, and you’ll be able to stick to it.
you can follow my process to do so here:
5- Educate yourself about money management
How much do you really know about money management? Chances are, if you’re like most people, the answer is not much. However, managing your finances is one of the most important things you can do in order to ensure a stable future for yourself and your loved ones.
You might not have grown up knowing exactly what a budget is, or how to create and follow one. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn now!
Take some time to educate yourself about money management. You can read books, take a course or two at your local college, or even check out some helpful books.
6- Budget for every dollar
A good budget has each and every one of your expenses broken out. Make sure you don’t forget anything because you want to budget for every dollar.
This means allocating money for groceries, eating out, utilities like electricity and water, gas for your car, insurance premiums, subscriptions you have, gifts for others…everything.
7- Stop buying impulsively (know the difference between needs and wants)
You might hear that it’s good to buy things impulsively every once in a while. If you’re shopping and you see something you want, go ahead and buy it.
There is a time and place for impulse buys, but your budget isn’t it. You have to learn how to tell the difference between needs and wants before you start shopping.
Needs are items that keep your life running smoothly. They are things you need to function properly. Wants are items that make your life more enjoyable or convenient, but you don’t need them to survive.
8- Use cash instead of your credit card
Using a credit card can create more problems than it solves, so it’s a good idea to leave it behind whenever possible.
You have to pay your credit card balance in full every month, which can make it difficult to stick to your budget. The temptations are greater when you’re using a credit card instead of cash since you don’t see the money leaving your hands.
9- Put some money aside for emergencies
Emergencies happen, and you need to be prepared for them. You don’t want a financial emergency to ruin your budgeting plans on top of everything else.
You should have at least three months’ worth of living expenses put away in case of an emergency. Anything less than that is just asking for trouble.
10- Learn to say no to yourself
You need to practice self-control if you want to stick to your budget.
You might be tempted to overspend in certain areas when it comes time to pay your bills. If you don’t stop yourself when you start overspending, you’ll end up in credit card debt.
Each time you are about to make an unnecessary purchase, ask yourself if you really need it or not. You’ll be surprised how quickly this becomes second nature to you.
11- Create a buffer in your budget
Everyone talks about creating a budget and sticking to it, but what happens when an unexpected expense comes up? You may be able to avoid dipping into your savings if you have a buffer in your budget.
A buffer is simply an amount of money that you set aside each month to cover unexpected expenses. This can be a great way to avoid debt and keep your finances on track.
You need to create a buffer in your budget that you can draw upon when this one bill comes. If you don’t, the surprise might ruin your month.
12- Make a budget before the month starts
The best way to make sure you have a successful month is to create a budget before it starts. This will help you stay on track with your spending and not overspend on unnecessary items.
There are many different ways to budget, so find one that works best for you and stick to it! By having a plan in place, you’ll be able to enjoy your month without worrying about money.
If you only make your budget at the end of the month, you’ll lose money. You need to create it before the month starts.
If you don’t, you might find yourself without enough money to cover your necessities. This means you won’t be able to pay rent, your mortgage, or even your utilities.
13- Save before you spend
When it comes to our hard-earned money, we all want to make sure that we’re getting the most for our investment. Unfortunately, sometimes spending can be just as addicting as saving, and it’s easy to find yourself going overboard.
If you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry – there are ways to get back on track without sacrificing your entire budget!
So, if you’re going to spend money, save up for it first.
Before buying something, make sure you have the cash saved up to pay for it. When you actually go to spend the money, nothing will stop you because you already have the cash on hand.
14- Plan your meals in advance
You can save a lot of money by planning your meals in advance. Menu planning doesn’t take too much time, and it can make your grocery shopping less stressful.
Make sure you plan your meals ahead of time, so you don’t end up eating out more than usual.
By planning meals in advance, you’ll get more for your money and cut down on impulse spending at the grocery store.
15- Get rid of your bad spending habits
If you want to stick to a budget, you have to get rid of any bad spending habits you have.
You don’t want to waste money on things that aren’t necessary because that will just put a dent in your budgeting plans.
You might have to cut out all of your bad spending habits if you really want to stick to a budget, but you should focus on one at a time.
Figure out which bad spending habit is the worst for you, and then stop doing it.
16- Find creative ways to save
You need to find new and creative ways to save if you want to stick to your budget. If you don’t, overspending will happen and your budgeting plans will fail.
Try to save everywhere you can, including at work and by shopping. You might even be able to save on utilities if you’re creative enough.
Make sure you don’t neglect your retirement accounts or savings. You don’t want to have to rely on the government when you retire.
17- Remember what’s really important
There’s no reason to overspend if you don’t have the cash on hand. Just because you can buy something doesn’t mean you should.
You have to remember what’s really important in life, including your family, friends, and favorite memories. Your budget is only a guide, not something you have to follow strictly.
18- Be content and quit the comparison
Comparison will be your downfall if it’s not handled correctly. You’ll always compare your income to a friend or neighbor, but you shouldn’t if you want to stick to your budget.
You’ll never be able to save enough, especially when everyone wants more. So learn to be content with what you have, and realize that money doesn’t equal happiness.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading these budgeting tips and found them helpful. If you have other ideas or tips, feel free to share them with us.
budgeting is really very important, so always keep an eye on how you are spending your money.