So, you’ve set yourself a budget to live on but STILL don’t have enough money left at the end of the month? Don’t worry, you’re not alone – in fact, many people have problems managing their money. But there’s help out there. Here are a seven ways you can make your budget work for you…
1. Live within your means
Comprise a budget and try to stick to it as closely as you can. Although you might want to purchase the items you want everyday in order to keep up with the Joneses, it’s important to live within your means.
2. Keep a closer eye on your finances
Don’t forget to factor in the small little extras in your budget that can eat into your finances over time. Keep track of every single thing you spend – even if it’s a coffee at Starbucks. Write down what comes in and what goes out, and see if you can make any adjustments in your spending. Even saving a few dollars a day can soon add up!
3. Don’t underestimate how much you spend
Remember – your bills can fluctuate depending on the month or time of year. That’s why it’s a good idea to re-assess your budget every month and never underestimate what’s going out. If you find it easier, call your utility companies to see if you can pay a set amount every month (via a payment plan) so that you can budget more effectively and control your finances.
4. Stick to your budget
Try to stick to your budget as closely as you can. You’ll soon get used to how much you can spend, even if you need to make some adjustments down the line. Encourage your partner to stick to the budget as well, and try to remain as consistent as you can. Always discuss your finances with your significant other, and talk to them about the importance of having a budget.
5. You’re not making enough money
You might want to take on a second job if you can to generate some additional income and increase your monthly budget.
6. Plan for emergencies
An unprepared emergency or shortfall in funds can throw your budget into disarray. Keep money aside in case of such an event, and prepare yourself for any unexpected expenses.
7. Don’t use your credit cards
Using credit cards can increase the amount of money you owe, and you’ll soon find that you will have to factor in this additional expense into your budget.