How to Stick to Your Budget
So, you've sat down and listed all your monthly expenses and income. You know exactly when each bill should be paid and which paycheque will be used to pay it. You know to the last dollar how much you can spend between paydays on entertainment. You've even opened a savings account and made your first deposit. Good for you! You've taken the first step to gaining control of your finances.
Then the telephone rings. Your best friend is calling, wondering if you want to go out for dinner and drinks tonight. You know this unexpected expense is not in your budget, but you haven't seen your friend in a while and you feel you deserve some fun after all that hard work you did on your budget. What do you do? Unfortunately, all too many of us throw away our budget and tell our friend we'll meet them downtown. The next day we wake up broke and full of guilt, vowing that "next month" we'll get serious with sticking to our budget.
Sticking to a budget can be a hard habit for many people to form. The key is simple: turn it from a burden into a reward mechanism. "How," you might ask, is that possible?" It's all a manner of thinking. Some people see their budget as a joyless constraint on their lifestyle, but a budget is really the "goose that lays the golden eggs." Think of something that you really want to do or have: a trip to a fantastic beach you've never seen, a new guitar, or whatever your heart desires. How will you eventually get it? That's right - through your budget!
Admit it... you will never have the money to do the things you want to do or buy the things you desire unless you save up money over time and set it aside with that purpose in mind. Mind you, this money is in addition to your normal savings for emergencies. Therefore, you can set a goal for yourself of a certain savings amount that will trigger a reward, such as "when I have $1,000 in savings I will take $500 and buy a new surfboard." That way you won't clean out your savings and leave yourself with no cushion when an unexpected expense occurs.
To help make it easier along the way, set some short-term goals as well. Do you want to take your date to that great new restaurant? Set a certain savings amount as a trigger to reward yourself for your discipline.ÂOne key to sticking to your budget is to stay away from casual credit card use. Credit card debt can easily build out of control because of the unlimited credit on so many credit cards. It becomes a source of easy money and many of us end up living beyond our means. Instead of depending on credit cards, look for other means of credit that can provide you with smaller loan amounts and have preset limits. You wonâ€™t be tempted to increase your spending and you will only use the amount you need. With services such as Payday Online, you can have cash in your account in an hour and you wonâ€™t be hit with ongoing fees. The best part is there is no paperwork required. You confirm the agreement online and cash is credited to your account ready for you to use! So forget long-term debt and sign up for fast cash when you need it.
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