Friday, 8 March 2013 11:31
“Budget” is an intimidating and depressing word for many because it requires facing the reality of your not-so-perfect spending habits. For this blog, let’s refer to a “budget” as a spending plan… maybe that will ease the pain a little.
Coming up with a spending plan doesn’t have to be painful. Incorporate these tips into your spending plan, and you'll see why:
1) Who said research couldn’t be fun?
So you’ve decided you want to start managing your finances with a spending plan. Instead of buckling down and stressing yourself out with a night of sifting through paperwork, why not start at the end of the month? Yeah, you read it right. This month you get a break; go about your life as usual. There is a catch though; start keeping track of every transaction you make during the month. At the end of the month, go through your receipts and see where your money is going to adjust accordingly.
2) Technology is on your side.
Quit worrying about paying your bills on time! Okay, that’s not exactly what we mean, but start setting up bill pay on your online account so payments are deducted automatically. Just be sure to adjust your payment dates to ensure you’ll have enough money left after each deduction.
3) Despite what your mom told you, staring is okay!
You’re at the mall and you see something you want – that impulse to buy it is as strong as ever. Fight it! Take a moment and stare at the object. Do you love it? Do you need it? If not, don’t buy it. If you don’t think about it after you have left the store, you did not want it.
4) Sometimes the little things are the most important.
Stop cranking up the heat during the winter months. Adjust your thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting and throw on an extra shirt. Such an easy adjustment can make a huge impact on your heating costs. Are you always searching for ways to help the environment? Some stores offer reusable totes at a small price then give you money back for every bag you use on future shopping trips.
After seeing how your spending plan has changed your life for the better, it would be silly to return to your old ways. It’s not so bad after all, right?