No one wants to have debt to their name, but rather have a nice sum of money in the bank at any given time. The best way to achieve that status is by creating a fool-proof budget and sticking to it.
Creating a monthly budget can be very daunting for a lot of people, especially when there’s no money left for fun things. You become stuck in a cycle where you’re left wondering at the end of the month how to save money when there’s nothing left to save.
Students find budgeting most difficult since most only work part-time, they have the added expense of tuition and going out with friends is a big part of their routines.
Here are six awesome budget tricks that actually work:
Create your budget from the bottom up
Most people work out their expenses first, deduct them from their income and are generally left with no money to spend or save. Try flipping your budgeting around and start with putting money aside to save first, then work through your expenses.
You’ll likely find that you have unnecessary expenses that you can do away with and save instead. You should be saving about 10% of your income each month, then pay your expenses with the remaining money.
When you have a family or are a student, it might be difficult to save money. You could pick up extra shifts if your time allows. Many creative careers have the opportunity for freelance work and remote work, which you could do at home after your day job or classes.
Make smarter choices
Most budget blunders come from making poor choices. This is usually due to a lack of impulse control. One way of controlling impulse spending is to commit to waiting 10 minutes before going through with a purchase. Chances are it’s not truly worth your hard-earned income.
Time is often a scarce resource for many students, so choosing to work an extra shift could mean that you need to enlist some help and buy assignments online from professionals to save time and make most out of your work. You can order thesis, dissertation, college essays and al other writing assignments from writing services.
Set extra cash aside
As the saying goes: ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ That is true when it comes to your income. If you have extra cash after paying your bills, hide it. Whether that means putting it in a short-term notice savings account or putting the cash in an envelope at the back of your closet, hide it somewhere that is difficult to get out on a whim.
When you can’t see the money, you won’t be tempted to spend it. Being tempted by extra cash is the quickest way to fail at your budget. Often impulse buying leads to overspending. So, best is to hide that extra bit of cash each month and thank yourself in a couple of years’ time.
Use budget bucketing
You need to learn how to make money work for you and give every dollar a specific purpose. Budget bucketing involves separating your money into different “buckets” for different purposes.
For example, placing the money you’ve budgeted into envelopes dedicated to each category like your groceries, electrical, school tuition and the like.
For your savings and debit card purchases, you should have separate accounts as a way of preventing yourself from accidentally spending your savings. A long-term savings account is a great option. Set it up so that getting your money out will involve some form of effort that will deter impulse spending.
Set a limit that you cannot go over
If you set up your budget bucketing successfully you won’t have the extra money floating around without a purpose, which means you won’t be able to spend over your budget. Additionally, not allowing yourself to use credit cards can help with this too.
Sometimes emergencies do happen and suddenly you need to find a sum of money that you don’t have lying around. Often this is where credit cards are used. Avoid the extra expense of paying your credit card off plus the interest but setting aside money in savings for emergencies.
Give yourself a break
As important as it is to stick to your budget, you need to cut yourself a little slack sometimes. If you’re too strict on yourself, chances of failing are much greater. So, to avoid failure, give yourself some wiggle room. Set some cash aside for impulse spending, but once you’ve used it, that’s all you get until next month.
You don’t want to put all this work into creating a budget only for the wheels to fall off after two months. Also, it will help you to develop a healthy relationship with money that will serve you well into the future.
Once you have been able to master these six tricks, your budget will come naturally to you. You might find yourself in the store, making smarter decisions out of habit, choosing not to let your impulses guide your spending. What’s more, you will find that it becomes easier to meet your financial goals and you’ll start achieving things much faster.
It is just like a snowball, when you start moving, it may be slow, but as soon as you start picking up momentum things start happening faster. When you retire, you’ll thank yourself for all the wise financial goals you made when you were younger.