The first step to financial freedom is sticking to a household budget, because it helps you control your money (as opposed to your money controlling you). If you can’t stick to your budget, give these tips a try — they’ll help!
Before the tips, a quip:
“It is pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed.” ~ Kin Hubbard.
Financial freedom may not make you happy, but it’ll help you be miserable in comfort (to paraphrase Gloria Steinem). If you’re ready to pay off your debt and achieve your financial goals, read The Budget Kit: The Common Cents Money Management Workbook. And, here are five tips for sticking to a personal spending plan or budget…
5 Tips for Sticking to Your Budget
1. Understand your “money personality.” The first step to creating a budget you’ll actually stick to is to understand your money personality. Your childhood, your parents’ relationship with money, and your current love relationship affects how you think about money – and can make or break your saving and spending habits! The more you know about how your personality and childhood affects your ability to invest, save, and spend money, the more likely you’ll be to find financial freedom.
2. Create a spending plan that suits your lifestyle. If you absolutely must have the latest iPhone apps, Manolo Blahnik shoes, or a daily Starbucks frappuccino, then don’t completely deprive yourself. The first step to creating a budget that works is to include the things you love and find the balance between spending and saving money. You’ll have to restrict your spending, but that makes the times you do indulge all the sweeter!
3. Find the right way to track your spending and saving. Some people use a book like The Budget Kit, above. Other people use software, like Financial Counselor Notebook personal financial organizer. Still others use an Excel spreadsheet, or an online spending plan. The best way to stick to your budget is to find a an easy way to track your spending and saving habits – and remember that what works for financial gurus like Suze Orman may not work for you.
4. Plan for financial crises or “budget busters.” Cars break down, iPhones get dropped in toilets, and jobs get lost. When you’re creating your financial spending plan (the new way to say “budget”), make sure you make room for nasty financial surprises. Consider throwing $5 or $10 a week into an emergency fund or stash of cash. This helps you stick to your budget by keeping you on track even in financial crises.
5. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you veer from your budget occasionally. It’s like dieting: just because you ate a dozen chocolate cream puffs doesn’t mean you’ll gain 400 pounds! The key to sticking to your budget is to flow with the times you fall off the money wagon. If you regret a purchase and can’t (or don’t want to) return it, just get yourself back on track right away. Don’t let a financial upset ruin your budget or cause stress. Instead, accept that they happen, and keep your eye on your financial goals.
If you have any thoughts or questions on sticking to your budget or achieving financial freedom, please comment below…