Sticking to a budget can be hard!
It’s easy to say you’re only going to spend a certain amount per week, but actually sticking to that budget is an entirely different matter- trust me, I know. The moment I get stressed, the budget normally gets thrown out the window in favour of some good, old-fashioned impulse spending. Once those floodgates are open, there’s no stopping me! Here are four easy tips to make sure you stay on track and save that money for the things you really want.
Write a list You want that thing? Sure! But before you reach for the credit card, write your dream purchase down and wait a few days. You’re not deciding not to buy it- you’re just taking a step back for the moment. By writing it down, you know you’re not going to forget about it, and who knows? In a few days time you might decide that you didn’t really want it that much anyway.
Take time to think about it See above. Millions of dollars of marketing money are spent to ensure that you complete that purchase, whatever it is. From a highly researched purchase pathway to a sense of artificial scarcity, you’re fighting an uphill battle from the moment you decide to ‘have a quick look’. Stepping back from the purchase can give you some breathing space to decide what’s really important to you right now. If it’s really meant to be, it can wait!
Know why you’re sacrificing (or what you’re sacrificing for) If you’re really focusing on your budget, it’s probably for a reason. Are you saving for a house? Planning a big trip? Trying to pay down debt?
When the temptation to spend comes a’knocking, hold fast to why you’re saving. Fifty dollars can be fifty dollars on a dinner or it can be one step towards your goal. For me, fifty dollars saved is one-twentieth of my return flight to Europe later this year (Europe, yay!). It’s amazing how quickly that comparison puts an impulse spend in perspective!
Operate in cash This is your best bet if you’re really struggling to stick to your budget. Make an honest assessment of what you need to survive on for the week, then draw that amount out in cash and leave the plastic at home. Don’t like all of those coins jangling around? Pick up a pre-loadable credit card and only transfer what you’ve decided to spend that week. It’s pretty hard to be sucked into an impulse buy when you can’t pay for it! Having to wait until you get more cash out could be just the damper that you need to stick to your budget.
So what’s on my list?
I’m so glad you asked! Here’s just a few things that I’m resisting at the moment:
- This Howarts Invitation Clutch – because who doesn’t need this in their life?
- A Doctor Strange Pop Funko – I really like the recent portrayal of Doctor Strange (contentious, I know), and I have wanted to add this bad boy to my bookshelf ever since the movie came out. Ditto also a little Newt Scamander, because my inner nerd is strong.
- This tiny bee ring and something similar to this upcycled vintage ring. Both are beautiful, neither are necessary for my survival right now.
- And finally, this amazing Whale Furoshiki Cloth for reason other than WHALE (this one was added today, thanks Pinterest)