Personal Budget Tricks for Staying on Track
Now that your budget is set, it's time to focus on sticking to it.
Creating a personal budget isn't the hardest thing for many people. Sticking to it is. Things happen and you start spending more than you designated to one particular area. It may be that you don't want to let your friends know you're watching your spending. But you don't want to go through the process of creating a budget just to let it go to waste. You need tips to stick to it, and here are four of them.
Let Others Know Your Financial Goals
You may not want to share the details with your friends and family, or let them know you're struggling for cash. However, letting them know you have financial goals is a great way of sticking to your budget. Let them know you're saving for a holiday or a car, and be serious about it. They're more likely to understand when you say you can't afford to go out another night in the week or when you're unable to go to the fancy restaurant for lunch.
There are a few ways of making your financial goals public. You could write it on your Facebook wall with a general "I'm going to clear my credit card by the end of the year." Another option is to talk to friends privately about your goal to save up for your world trip.
Have Your Dreams Written Down
Trying to picture the reasons for saving money isn't always going to work. You need to see them and the best way to do that is write them down. Have your dreams on a cork board over your desk or posted on the mirror so you see them when you get up. It's a daily reminder of what you're saving towards or where you want to be within a set deadline.
Visual reminders are great. Having a picture of the one place you want to visit in the world on your phone is another good reminder of your dreams.
Let your friends help you with your personal budget goals.
Make It a Habit to Check Before You Spend
Think you have enough for that small purchase in the store? You may, but get into the habit of checking before you spend anything. Budgeting software is a great way to do that, especially software that is mobile-friendly, like Mint.com. It can be hard to start doing this, but you will soon find it easier. It becomes second nature to check.
Reassess Your Budget
If you're really struggling to stick to your personal budget, it could be that it isn't suitable for your needs. You may have been too tight to save money, and you need to be realistic. Reassess your budget and determine where you can make changes. Look at where you're overspending and how you can avoid it happening in the future.
Alexandria Ingham is a freelance writer with experience in technology, internet marketing and budgeting.