If you created a budget and set financial goals, then you’re off to a great start. The hardest part of creating a budget is sticking to it. We know how hard it is to change your spending habits and consequently your lifestyle. Fortunately, we came up with some proven tips to help you stick to your budget. Try out a few and see what works!
1. Put Reminders of Your Goals Everywhere
Budgeting isn't fun, but sometimes it is necessary to do in order to achieve big goals of financial success and freedom. So remind yourself why you're doing it! Put pictures of what you are striving to purchase or save for on your phone's background or print a few reminders out and hang them throughout your home! Find a few spots in your home or work that you will constantly see. Each time you see the reminders, whether it’s a house, a car, or a new laptop, think about the end goal rather than the hard work it takes to get there. Use this as motivation to fuel your responsible habits!
2. Tell People About It
The more people who know about your financial goals and the budget that you came up with to help you achieve your goals, the more likely you are to stick to your budget. These people should help you hold yourself accountable, so tell everyone you talk to regularly! Friends, family, coworkers. If you have a friend or family member who is inspired by your commitment and decides to create a budget also, make them your accountability partner. Encourage each other to stick to your budget and avoid temptations.
3. Surround Yourself With Like-Minded People
If you have friends or family who love to shop, eat out or go for drinks, try to find more affordable activities like making a meal together and eating in. Unfortunately, not everyone will be happy about your new lifestyle, but it’s okay! You can’t please everyone and still achieve your financial goals. So if there are people who instead of supporting you they push you to spend, avoid hanging out with them and find like-minded people who encourage you to stick to your budget and find fun, affordable things to do together. Just remember, live the lifestyle others won't so that in the future you can live the lifestyle that others can't!
4. Monthly Check In
At the end of each month, track your expenses and compare it to your budget. See how well you did. If you didn’t meet your expectations, identify the areas where you need to improve. Budgeting isn’t easy, so remember that it’s a process that doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to reach your financial goals, but if you check in on your progress each month and identify your weaknesses and strengths you will make progress.
5. Have Fun
With all of this in mind, you need to create a lifestyle that is sustainable and avoid burning yourself out so don’t forget to have fun! Don’t go spending $500 shopping, but find something fun to do to celebrate your progress. Go to your favorite restaurant or see the movie you’ve been looking forward to. You need to make your budget work for you, so don’t cut out all fun activities just to save money. It’s all about balancing saving and spending.
Bonus: Try Wismo
Wismo is a free budgeting app that tracks your daily spending. It doesn’t link to banks or credit cards and doesn’t require personal information. You simply add your recurring bills and income once and then add your expenses as they happen. Wismo determines how efficient your spending is and helps you maximize your savings.
Don't forget why you are doing this. As time passes, you will get better at balancing your new lifestyle and it will be easier to stick to your budget. Especially once you start achieving the goals you set for yourself!
Bonus: If you need help making a budget or want to improve your current one, learn more about how to create a monthly budget.
Financial freedom starts with good habits!
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