Thursday, January 15, 2009

How To Stick to a Budget

What 's the best way to stick to your budget once you've created it? The Budget Fairy* has five helpful tips that will help you stick to your budget:
  1. Self control means putting off something you want today for something you want even more tomorrow--and sticking to a budget requires plain old, unsexy self-control. Self control means that if you put an impulse item in your cart, you should impulsively put it right back on the shelf.
  2. Print your budget. Print out a copy of your monthly budget and keep it with you. There's no way you can remember the amounts you budgeted for everything. Print it out and keep it tucked in your bra. (Or wherever you keep important stuff.)
  3. Break it down. Break down your monthly budget into a weekly budget. If your family budgeted $200 for groceries for the month, that's $50 a week.
  4. Review your budget often. It's not only helpful to do frequent budget reviews, it's also a morale booster. When I can look at our grocery budget for the month and see that we've spent half of it and we're half way through the month, that makes me happy. (Yes, in a dorky Dave Ramsey sort of way.)
  5. Save receipts. Saving receipts and then entering them into a logbook or money program on your computer is so boring. But it helps. It holds you accountable and forces you to assign each of your purchases to a budget category (which you mentally should have done before you made the purchase.) Walmart receipts are the worst because so many budget categories are on one receipt. McDonald's will always be in the dining out budget category.
Stick to your budget, and at the end of the month you'll have a great feeling--legally, that's all I can promise you. But there's also a good chance that if you stick to your budget, you'll spend less, waste less and save more. Not bad!

*The Budget Fairy, while not as sexy as the Tooth Fairy, is very cute--in a dorky Dave Ramsey sort of way.

No comments:

Post a Comment