You have a budget in place, but somehow you end up spending more money each month than you intended. The fact is that you do not have a good grasp on your finances and have picked up some bad money habits along the way. Getting rid of those negative habits will pave the way for replacing them with financially responsible habits that help you create financial stability. Here are some examples of how you can start changing things today.
Give Yourself an Allowance
Remember when you were a kid and your parents gave you a weekly allowance? You were free to do whatever you wanted with that money, but once it was gone that was it until next week. Apply this same approach to your life today.
Maybe you have budgeted $50.00 a week for eating out, but always end up spending more. Regain control by putting $50.00 in your wallet or purse Monday morning. You can no longer use debit or credit cards to pay for those meals out. Once the cash is gone, you brown bag it or eat at home for the rest of the week. It will not take long before you choose when and where you eat out more carefully.
Never Shop Without a List
If you need to go shopping for anything from food to clothing, prepare a list ahead of time. No matter how tempting it may be, you only buy what is on the list. Even then, you do some brand comparison to see which purchases would provide the most satisfaction. It may be hard to pass by that display of chips on sale, but you don’t need them anyway.
Needs First, Wants Later
Your budget must cover all of your essentials ahead of anything else. That means you have adequate amounts set aside for food, shelter, utilities, and insurance every month. Committing to putting a percentage of your net income in savings is not a bad thing to add to this list.
If you want a new television, that’s fine. Save for it instead of buying it using store credit or a credit card. You really will take more pride in the set if you buy it this way.
Bad money habits must be identified before they can be replaced. Take a long hard look at how you spend your money. You can bet there is plenty of room for improvement.