Are your spending habits getting out of control? You need to set restrictions on how to spend your money. A budget? Sounds simple but setting a budget and sticking to it is a hard task for most people to do. It causes you to limit your spending. I know, “It’s my money and I want it now!” but to build wealth, you must cut out the excessive spending. Doing so requires you to pay more attention to your money and where you allow it to go. Set up a budget plan to help you organize and prioritize your spending so that you don’t get behind with your finances.
We have all played the part on payday; we get paid, spend the money on things that we ‘think’ we may need and by the time Monday hits, we can’t account for most of the money spent. We scratch our head while checking our account wondering where the money vanished. There are ways to avoid this and that is through a budget and/or spending plan. Here are 5 tips to help you get started on controlling your spending:
1. Create Your Spending Plan: This goes without saying… List all of the bills you have both fixed and variable. Fixed expenses for bills are those that are consistent monthly (rent, light bill, etc..) and Variable expenses are those that vary in cost from month-to-month (grocery, repairs, etc..) If your plan is to start at the beginning of the month, begin creating the plan a few weeks before it starts to get mentally prepared. That way, you can begin getting ready to check the bills off of your list.
2. Pay Yourself first: I’m sure you’ve heard this bit several times but it’s your money that you worked hard for and whether you put in 40 or 80 hours, it’s yours to spend but pay yourself first. Uncle Sam is going to get his first so why not get yours, too?! Set up a savings account and start small then gradually build it up to meet your desired amount. You want to start out with an ideal amount initially. Don’t be overly optimistic! You must start at the bottom to get to the top.
3. Needs vs. Wants: If you want it then more than likely, you may not need it (now). This is the number one reason for struggle. When payday hits, most venture out with the weeks’ pay and purchase the items they wanted and delay their bills until next check. This is a setup for failure. Make a list of bills that are due around the pay period. Pay them first and then use what’s left once you have paid yourself (savings, etc.) to purchase the wants you may still have. *If you find that the amount that is left is not enough, create a different savings plan for the desired amount. Doing so this way will eliminate the possibility of you dipping into your savings*
4. Record Your Expenses: Paper or Plastic? We swipe and spend mindlessly and often we don’t keep up with what we are doing. This is where control comes in to play. List the expenses for the week and check them off as you go. Only spend the allotted amount that is listed for. Not only is this method effective but it helps you to see where the excessiveness lies. By keeping up with where your money is going, you have the option to keep it or cut it. It’s your money. The choice is yours!
5. Be Committed: Budgeting is not an easy thing to do. If it was, you wouldn’t be reading this blog or needing the services but it is a good thing that you are here right now. Striving to be a better you. It doesn’t matter if this is your first attempt or your last, just make it count! You are not alone and you are not the only one with problems. The solution is to FIX IT! So don’t fret if you find yourself getting off track. Stop and assess the issue and continue. This is your path. There is no one taking attendance for your failures. Don’t let the woes get you down and always remember that Everyone Deserves a Second Chance….