No one likes the idea of making a budget, but we all love the idea of having more money. Many of us look back at periods in our lives and wish we had done more to spend less. Fortunately, no matter what stage of your life you’re in, there’s still time for you to make some changes to your spending habits and have more money in your account. Here’s a few tips to help you budget more effectively and save more money.
How to Budget
No one likes the idea of sitting down and making a budget, but your saving efforts will never work without one. If you don’t get a definite grip on the amount of money that’s coming in, you won’t be able to formulate a method for how to control how much is going out. One solid theory for calculating income and expenses is known as zero based budgeting. In this budget, you start by taking note of how much money you make in a month and subtract all of your expenses and savings until your bottom line has a zero on it. Every dollar is assigned a “job.” If that doesn’t sound like a good idea for you, find a budgeting method that works for you.
This should go without saying, but unfortunately it’s so easy to let yourself dip into one area of your budget to do something you’d rather do with that money. Ideally, you leave some room in your budget for entertainment which means you should be able to not access money that’s set up to go for your needs. At the end of the day, no one can make you have will power other than you (there’s a reason they call it self-control). It’s often a good idea to give yourself a quarterly or bi-annual reward of some sort (which you can figure into your budget) by taking a small trip or buying yourself something with money that you’ve built up by sticking to the budget.
Review and Adjust
Undoubtedly, there will be things that come up that you didn’t budget for. An appliance will tear up, the car will break down, or the pet will have to spend some time at the vet. While those things may not be written out on your budget, you probably have some “emergency money” in there. Even if you do, sit down and review your budget often and make the necessary adjustments.
Best of luck in your push to become more fiscally responsible!