Do you ever find yourself anxiously waiting for your next paycheck because you only have a few dollars left in your pocket? If your answer to this question is a resounding yes, you most certainly have a problem with personal budgeting. You are not alone in this dilemma. There are many others like you who would benefit greatly from the following tips to ensure you stay within the limits that your budget can afford.
1. Keep track of your income and expenses
Knowing how much you earn would tell you how much you can spend without ruining your budget. Your lifestyle and spending habits must be based on how much money regularly goes into your pocket every month.
2. Determine fixed and variable expenses
Fixed costs include mortgage, house rent, health insurance, car insurance and other items wherein you have to pay the same amount every month. On the other hand, variable costs include groceries, entertainment, clothing expenses and dining out. The latter would depend mainly on your behavior and you can choose to lower it if you want to be able to put more money to your savings account.
3. Choose cash over credit cards
Using cash when doing shopping could help you monitor your spending. If you choose credit cards, you can just swipe anytime you want without noticing that you have already gone over your limits.
4. Avoid bad habits
Smoking and drinking are just two examples of bad habits that could take away a sizable amount from your wallet. Your bank account would become richer if you live without these vices, not to mention you will also become healthier.
5. Keep a copy of receipts
Sometimes you could get confused where some of your money went. In order to keep track of all your expenses, it would do you good to keep receipts instead of throwing them in the trash bin.
6. Pay your debts on time
Being late on payments could mean having to pay for the late payment fees and charges. So always be prompt in paying your dues.
7. As much as possible, avoid shopping on impulse
If not absolutely necessary, avoid buying things out of whim. You can prevent this by creating a list of the things you need before you head off to supermarkets or malls.
8. Take advantage of sales
Sales simply mean savings. So if you spot one in your local supermarket, take advantage of the opportunity especially if the items on sale are things that you truly need.
9. Use envelop budgeting
On the day you receive your pay, you may spend a few minutes to write down your monthly expenses. Then get a few envelopes where you put the money allocated for each item and label which is for the groceries, for the gas, for the bills and so on and so forth. That way, you will know for sure that the money for a particular item won’t be spent elsewhere.
10. Allocate a portion of your income for savings
If you have some spare cash, do not think of how to spend it. Rather, put it in your savings and save for the rainy days.
Personal budgeting is not a very hard thing to do if you have self-control. Spending your money wisely may take a little practice to achieve but it is very doable if you are determined to keep your finances in great shape.