You’ve taken the first step. Congratulations, you’ve already made it farther than a lot of people. You’ve sat down with your family and worked on budgeting together. You’ve got it all organized and planned out.
The problem now is that you can’t quite seem to stick to it. You always seem to be just a little (or a lot) off when you get to the end of the month.
To help you get better about sticking to it, we’ve got 5 excellent tips. Check them out here!
1. Make a Grocery List
Plan your meals for the week, make a list of what you need, and stick to it. This will help reduce food waste and cut down on extraneous purchases. Plus, don’t go shopping hungry. Otherwise, you want to buy everything you see. You can make use of some grocery list apps you can download online.
2. Pay With Cash
It’s way too easy to wrack up a higher amount on a credit card than you expect. Then you’re stuck paying the high interest rate when you can’t pay your balance in full at the end of the cycle.
Why is this so easy?
Simple. You can’t see it. When you pay with cash, you have to physically pull the bills out of your wallet and hand them over. It hurts more to pull out a hundred dollar bill or several twenties than a handful of one-dollar bills.
Paying with a credit card is the same no matter how big the purchase, making it less obvious.
3. Buy Major Stuff in the Morning
Do you feel perky and energetic at the end of the day? No? Most of us don’t. We’ve had a long day and all we want to do is go home and relax.
This is the worst time to make big purchasing decisions. You just want to get out of the store and go home and are not likely to make the best choices. Go in the morning when your brain is fresh and you are at the top of your game.
4. Let Online Purchases Sit in the Shopping Cart for a Day
When buying stuff online it’s ridiculously easy to overspend. You can’t physically see what’s piling up, plus the little pop-up ads on the side inspire you to buy other stuff that you weren’t planning on.
A good way to combat this is to always let your purchases sit in the shopping cart for a day. After you’ve had a chance to think about it, come back and finish your purchase, removing any impulse buys that you really didn’t need.
5. Use Gift Cards for Amazon Shopping
Another excellent way to limit yourself while shopping on Amazon is to only pay with Amazon gift cards. Physically go to the store and buy one, then limit your purchases to that amount. The extra work helps you be more deliberate about your spending.
Budgeting Together Just Got Easier
If everyone in your family commits to following these budgeting tips, you’ll likely find that you are closer to meeting your budget each month. You might even come in under it!
Check out more of our excellent personal financial tips in our other blogs!