You’ve taken the important first step. You made a budget and are ready to become more financially responsible. But how do you live on your budget? How do you make it work for you and your family? Let’s take a closer look.
First things first. Ask yourself, “Is my budget realistic?” Many people set unrealistic budgets that are destined to fail from the beginning. For example, you may try to live on $20 a week for groceries and have a family of four. Unless you have a stockpile, that’s not going to work. If you’re not sure how much you spend, start tracking your expenses. This will make a budget much more successful.
Look for Ways to Save Money
The next thing you need to do is look for ways to save money. Couponing is a great way to save money. Another one is to look for free entertainment options. You could also end your cable/satellite to save over $100 per month. This allows you to better stick to your budget.
Leave the Debit Cards at Home
Another important thing to do is leave your debit cards at home. Pull out the money you have budgeted for grocery shopping, etc. and only use that money. This forces you to stick to your budget. For example, if you want to spend $100 a week on groceries, pull out $100 before you go shopping. This will cause you to be more conscious about how much you’re spending.
Ask for Discounts
Contact your creditors, phone company, etc. every so often to ask for discounts. Being able to lower your interest rate on credit cards, reduce your monthly cost on your phone bill, or even get cheaper internet access can save you so much money. Don’t be afraid to call and keep at it until you get a decent discount. Do this every 6 to 12 months to keep your costs lower.
Reevaluate From Time to Time
It pays to take time to reevaluate your budget from time to time. This ensures that your money is going to the right places. For example, if you pay off debt, you want to make sure that the money is now going into savings. If your family grows, you may need to put more money towards groceries. This ensures that you’re getting the most from your money.
A budget is an amazing tool that lets you make the most of your money. If you follow these tips, you’ll actually be able to live on your budget and be more financially successful.