5 tips to creating a personal budget that you can stick to

IMG_3547Creating a budget for some can be a daunting task. Sticking to it can be even harder. Here are 5 tips to help you stick to your budget.

Shorten your budget time period. Adjust your budget time period to reflect your paycheck. For example, most people get paid biweekly. Create a budget for two weeks. A month is a long time to wait to assess how you are doing. Two weeks isn’t very long to commit and you will likely gain momentum from how easy it feels.

Use cash when possible. It’s no secret that paying with cash hurts more than swiping your debit card. We currently use cash for food and personal allowances. Boy does it hurt when we pull out that $25 to pay for one meal eating out. By using cash, you really get a sense of how much you are actually spending opposed to just swiping your card and being surprised by how much you over spent at the end of your budget period.

Give yourself a personal allowance. Spending $10 -$20 here and there for things like new sunglasses, a new shirt, gadgets and books can break the bank if you let it. Include a personal allowance for each member of your household in your budget. By doing this you set a limit on how much can be spent on these personal wants. If there’s a pricier thing or gadget you have your heart set on, save up your personal allowance for that item. You’ll have time to determine if you really need or want it and you’ll appreciate it more in the long run.

Limit eating out as much as possible. This one is a bit challenging for us! It’s amazing how much money you can save if you cook at home. It’s even more amazing how much more money you’ll save if you actually eat your leftovers. I’m working on this one! Take the time to plan your meals and only spend money on food you are going to eat. If you are like me, there is way too much food going to waste in our home. By taking the time to eat at home, your bank account and your body will thank you!

Change your mindset. Focus on the end result of sticking to your budget. It’s not about punishing yourself, it’s about freeing yourself. Whether you are trying to get out of debt or are saving for travel, a new car, etc., sticking to your budget will only get you there that much faster.

These are a few tips that ring true to our budget. I’d love to hear if you find these helpful as well as any budgeting tips you may have for me!