One of the absolute best tools for taking control of your finances and achieving financial independence is the budget. When most people see this word, it brings up images of depriving yourself or having a boring life. But the fact is a budget is just the opposite. It helps you to achieve the financial goals that you have chosen for yourself and therefore to have the life you truly desire.
When we start out on a budget all of us will run into some or all of these mistakes. If you can avoid these mistakes early, you will go a long way in being successful at sticking with your budget. Its not always easy to do but the achievement of reaching your goals makes it all worthwhile in the end.
Our favorite budget tool here at CashNow is Mint
. Its free and will help you to make and stick to a budget to achieve your own individual financial goals.
Budget tip #1 – Don’t eat out too much
In this modern life of ours, its often easy to grab some quick food outside. Whether its street food or a McDonald’s, all these expenses will add up. Sometimes it’s the Starbucks coffee fix. Regardless of what your own personal pleasure is, its very important that you set a limit each month on how much you can afford to spend on these splurges and then stick with it. 1oo pesos here and 200 there will add up to be a significant amount by the end of the month. a significant amount that could be saved to help you achieve your goals.
Budget tip #2 – Don’t keep too much money in your wallet
Another common mistake we all make is too keep too much cash in our wallets. When the money is there and easily accessible, its more easily spent. Keep only what you have budgeted for that week in your wallet. Leave all of your other money safely in your bank account. Out of sight is often out of mind. This is an easy tip to implement that will put an extra step in your path before you can spend your money.
Budget tip #3 – Pay your bills before you d any shopping
This is the biggest mistake many of us make. When we get our salary we spend it on other things before paying our bills. What then happens is we pay our bills late and pay late fees or disconnect fees, etc. This is a huge waste of money. When you receive your salary, immediately pay all of your bills from it. Don’t skip this because it will just cost you more in the long run. This one tip will keep you out of trouble and do more for helping you to achieve your own financial goals than any other tip. It actually SAVES you money by doing what you’re supposed to do.
Budget tip #4 – Set aside money for savings next
Once you have paid your bills, pay yourself. You do this by putting money aside in saving. This is for your emergency fund. Maybe you can’t afford to do much each paycheck, but do it anyway. It will build over time and you will soon be surprised at what you have done. At this point, any savings is good so get started now.
Budget tip #5 – Stop trying to impress X
This is another big one that we all do and it is perhaps the most costly. We all want to impress our friends, family, significant other, etc. So we often spend money we don’t have to buy things to create the image we want others to have of us. This is the quickest way to become and stay broke for life. you can absolutely buy some of the things you want for yourself, if you have budgeted it. But buying all the things to show off will never help you achieve your goals. Let others do that because you know that in time, you will be financially stable and independent and be able to do the things you really want to do.
Following these 5 tips will help you to stick to your budget with ease. Before long you will begin to see results in your quest to achieve financial freedom in your own life.