Last week we discussed budgets and what they do for you if you use them. This week I want to talk about tips on how to stay on budget.
Envelops and Cash- Once you have put every dollar in its place on your budget for the month, it is time to get your envelops out. It is time to carry cash. I don’t carry all my cash but I do separate money into labeled envelops. If I am going to get gas I use the money I put in the gas envelop. If I am going to church then I bring my giving envelop. Envelops keeps you from robbing Peter to pay Paul. Cash keeps you in budget because you can’t spend more then you have.
Don’t Shop Hungry or in an emotional state. When you go to the grocery store hungry you over spend. Shopping out of boredom will not only blow your budget but it only gives you the buyers high for a short period of time. Shopping because you are depressed or hurt only numbs you for the moment. The real issue still needs to be dealt with and you will feel guilty or have regret later for over spending.
Auto-Pay: I have my bills auto paid out of my accounts each month. One reason is to stay on time with my bills and two is because once I account for it on my budget all I have to do is make sure the money is in the account. Kind of like set it and forget it. This is great for saving and for investing for retirement. It makes being responsible a piece of cake.
These three tips not only keep me on budget but they add value to my life. I am more conscious about what I spend my cash on and if it is something I really need. This reduces the clutter in my life and my house, leaving me to feel more relaxed. I also, get more creative with the things I have. For instance, I often find ways to adjust the ingredients to recipes so that what I already have in my pantry is used instead stocking up on things I don’t need or won’t use regularly.
I hope these tips are useful and would love to hear if you have other ways you like to keep on track with your budget. Leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org