10 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Budget
- October 29, 2018
- by Ashley Chorpenning
Budgeting can be a bit of a challenge. It’s on ongoing effort to manage your money on a monthly basis. If you find you are struggling with yours, here are a few ways to instantly improve your budget:
Imagine getting in the car without a final destination; you would continue to drive in circles without going anywhere. Budgeting is the same way. You need a direction for your budget.
Take some time and plan out your short-term and long-term goals. A short-term goal could be planning for your summer vacation while a long-term goal could be purchasing a home within the next 5 years. Whatever your goals are, write them down. We have a printable financial bucket list to help with this and make it fun.
Prioritize Your Spending
Most of your budget probably revolves around housing, transportation, and food. These three expenses should take up at least half of your budget. So, what do you do with the remaining 50%?
Try using the 50/20/30 method. This means that 50% of your budget will go to paying for fixed expenses, 20% will go into your savings, and 30% will go toward entertainment, goals, or other expenses. This method is simply a framework for prioritizing where your money goes. Review your goals and allocate your finances in accordance with what you want to accomplish financially.
Investigate Budgeting Apps
Using a budgeting app is a great way to stay on track with your budget. New budgeting apps are created daily to help cater to your specific needs. Do a little research and discover the best budgeting app for you and your finances. At Wealth Meta we are working on a budgeting app that is simple to use and secure.
Take the Entire Year Into Consideration
When you sit down to make a budget, you want to include annual expenses as well. This could include a holiday shopping budget or your auto insurance premiums. Skipping these expenses could be devastating to your budget.
Including these extra expenses into you weekly and monthly budget will help you better prepare throughout the year.
Try a Money Challenge
A money challenge is a great way to instantly improve your budget. It helps jump start your spending habits and gets you back on track. There are plenty of money challenges available.
For example, you could try a no-spend month. This means you only spend money on necessities. By trying a no-spend month, you’ll find yourself more aware of the poor or impulsive spending habits you may have that are causing you to not stick to your budget.
Invite your spouse or a few of your friends and try a new spending challenge this month.
Automate Your Savings
How often have you forgotten to put money toward your savings account? It’s easy to forget, when you don’t receive a bill in the mail every month.
Automating your savings can eliminate the hassle of manually transferring money. Most financial institutions will allow you to set this up from their online access. By automating your savings, you are also ensuring you stay on track toward your savings goals.
Remove Credit Cards From Your Browser
Shopping from home has become easier and easier. From 24 hour shipping to free returns, it almost doesn’t make sense to step into a mall. With the ease of online shopping comes the risk of harming your budget.
If you frequent several online stores they may give you the option to save your credit information. This means with the click of a button you can make any purchase you desire with no thought involved. If shopping is harming your budget simply remove your credit information from your browser to eliminate temptation.
A good rule of thumb would be to wait at least 24-48 hours before you make any purchase. This will give you time to evaluate your need for this item. Most of the time you will either talk yourself out of it or simply forget, hence saving you money and keeping your budget on track.
Review Your Spending Habits Weekly, Monthly, and Annually
It’s important to review your budget weekly, monthly, and annually. You can observe where you may need to cut back or make adjustments. Your life is constantly changing. Your budget may need to change with it to meet your financial needs.
Remember, it’s okay to make changes throughout the year.
Build a Budget Community
Whether you want to limit your coffee trips or you’re working on paying off your credit card debt, share your goals with a community. Your community could consist of your friends and family or strangers. Sharing these experiences with others will help support you and encourage you to keep working toward your goals.
Budgeting can become a mundane task. Rewarding yourself along the way will prevent you from burning out. Your rewards don’t have to be big. It could be as simple as a trip to your favorite local fast food restaurant for lunch or buying that $30 t-shirt you love. Whatever it is, make sure to take time to celebrate your little wins.
Budgeting doesn’t have to be a challenge. With a little revamping you can instantly improve your budget.