We understand that sticking to a budget isn’t much fun. For that matter, going on a budget isn’t much fun in the first place because it usually means making sacrifices. And who likes to make sacrifices? But the simple fact is, good money management begins with creating a budget. Then comes the important step of sticking with it.
Turn it into a game
Don’t think of that budget as a straitjacket. A budget is nothing more or less than a plan. A better way to think of it is that you’re spending your money with intention. You can make things more fun by setting goals and then making a game out of achieving them. For example, suppose you’re spending $500 a month on groceries. You could set a goal of cutting it to $350 a month. That way you would see that you’re working towards something and you could celebrate achieving it.
Treat yourself to something
Remember what we said about a budget not being a straitjacket? You should treat yourself occasionally – maybe once a week or once a month – to something reasonable. If you’ve been able to save money by taking your lunch to work, you might use some of it to treat your family to a night at the movies or to a movie on DVD.
Try focusing on different spending categories
If you analyzed your spending by categories, try to emphasize different categories on different days. As an example of this, you might try to restrict your spending on eating out on Monday and Tuesday and then avoid spending on clothes on Wednesday. This is again somewhat akin to turning your budget into a game.
The best part of credit cards is that they record all of your spending. This means they can be a way to track where your money is going, which would be simpler than trying to write it down on little slips of paper each day. However, you need to use those credit cards sensibly. This means don’t charge anything unless you know that you can pay it off at the end of the month.
Set a big goal
Always have a good reason for budgeting and saving money. While turning your budget into a game might be fun, your ultimate strategy is to have a big goal such as a vacation or a new car. Alternately, your goal could be to become debt-free or to fund an emergency account.
Check out your budget with someone
You need to make sure that your budget isn’t too restrictive. While it’s pretty obvious that you shouldn’t be budgeting your monthly grocery bill at $10, restrictive spending limits might not be so obvious in other areas. Share your budget with someone else and ask his or her opinion. If they tell you that it’s unrealistic, then you have no chance of sticking with it. While your goal might be to cut your spending to the very minimum so that you could use the money to get out of debt, be realistic. Otherwise, you’re doomed to fail.
Speaking of debt
If you don’t feel you can cut your spending enough to get out of debt, there’s another option called debt consolidation. We’ve helped thousands of American families become debt-free and are so sure our debt consolidation partners can help you achieve your goal of becoming debt-free in a reasonable amount of time that they offer a simple 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are ever unsatisfied with our recommended debt relief programs you can cancel at anytime without any penalties or fees. Call us today and let us explain debt consolidation and how we could put it to work to help you.