Saving money is not always easy. Sometimes, it can seem as if our spending habits are out of control. Whether you’re trying to budget in between jobs, save up for a trip or pay off debt, this guide will help you reach your goal. Before beginning your budgeting journey, it is important to establish discipline, self-control, and routine. It’s always a good time to create good spending habits! If you want to learn the best budgeting tips to help you reach your financial goals, keep reading.
Before the start of each month, you must devise a spending plan. It can seem overwhelming to organize a whole month of finances, so try going week by week. This can break up your budget plan and make your spending seem more manageable. This tip also makes it easier to plan your activities for the week in advance. By knowing exactly how much you can spend each week, you will be able to decide if a coffee run or movie ticket is within budget.
Budgeting can seem like a never-ending project, so it’s important to set a goal for yourself! Evaluate the reasons why you are deciding to save money, and how you will use this money once it has accumulated. Keep your eyes on the prize! There are many things you can save for. A new car, paying down your credit card bill at the end of the month, or perhaps a fun weekend trip. Not all budgets are sustainable long-term, so make sure to use a short-term, sustainable goal. Pick the desired amount you hope to save up and re-evaluate your budget after you have reached your goal. The SMART technique is a great way to ensure your goals are, as the title would indicate, smart!
To stick to your desired budget, make sure to track every purchase you make. This helps to avoid running out of money by letting small purchases slip through the cracks. Keep yourself accountable! Track items purchased and prices paid on a notebook, phone, or any way that is convenient for you. This will make it easier to stay on track and be able to buy all of your essentials.
If you don’t already have both a checking and savings account, now is the time to get them. Separating your funds will help you visualize how much money you have left to spend. Begin by moving your monthly allowance into your checking account, while keeping the rest in savings. This will help you put into perspective how much money you must make it through to the next month. Seeing the money collected and grow in your savings account is also very motivating!
There are a few apps that can be very beneficial for tech-savvy individuals who are often on the go. Keeping your budget on your phone can be a nice reminder to stay on track and familiarize yourself with your spending habits. Check out Mint and PocketGuard which are both available for download on the app store.
While it is important to try and stick to a level budgeting schedule each week, remind yourself that not every day or every week will be exactly the same. For example, some weeks you might have to factor in a haircut, train ticket home, medical appointment copays or other unusual costs. Be smart in your planning and dedicate money specifically for these extra yet essential payments.
There are many opportunities for college students to save extra while in school. Check out the site UNiDAYS to save on online purchases throughout your college career. Every small amount that you can save adds up! Not only do they offer discounts on popular clothing brands, but they have great deals on lifestyle essentials as well. Check them out to save on everything from Zipcar rentals to tech gadgets.
If you aren’t a student, you can still save! Try couponing, and look for online discounts before you purchase anything. Sometimes even reaching out to the retailer and asking for a 10% discount works – and it never hurts to try.
Have any budgeting tips you’d like to share? Let us know!