Hate budgeting? Think watching dollars is a real drag? Get on good terms with your budget with our top 7 ‘Budget Booster’ tips:
- Schedule a financial check-up. When was the last time you had a heart-to-heart with your finances? If it’s been a while there have probably been changes! A pay increase, new financial obligations, even revised utilities should all be addressed. Set aside some time to review where your finances are at and get up to speed with where your money is going.
- Set some goals. Coming up with some financial goals and structuring a plan to meet them is a great way to make friends with your budget. Knowing that you’ve met some short term goals (such as starting and contributing to a savings account or paying off that pesky credit card debt) could provide you with momentum to expand your financial horizons and the drive to keep up good habits you’ve created.
- Make your own rules. Think you’re not entitled to your favourite fancy coffee or a weekly fitness class? Think again! Unless you have super-human discipline, trying to keep any and all “extras” out of your budget is probably setting yourself up for overspending. Of course you’re entitled to the occasional indulgence – just make sure you’re planning for it and hold the reigns firmly! You can decide what you’re willing to find room for within your means.
- Keep cash on hand. Spending with cold hard cash instead of plastic actually does help you stay on target. If you know you’ve only got $100 in your wallet to last until next payday it will make the decision of say, buying a round of pints for friends versus groceries for yourself a lot easier to make.
- Bag a bargain. Had the same cell phone provider for years now? Stuck with a tried and true credit card company? You’re the customer and you CAN ask for a better rate or deal! Call your various providers and see if they can’t give you a better offer. You’d be surprised at how willing companies are to up the ante to loyal customers.
- Nix the stress. If juggling your bills is constantly in the back of your head, take a big breath and a closer look. Are the bills unmanageable because there are too many small balances that could be consolidated into one, or are the debt payments something likely to outlast your car’s life span? Make a clean break, whether it’s through consolidating, a consumer proposal, or even a bankruptcy.
- Share your successes. Being able to talk about your new financial plans is a great way to stay motivated. When you’ve met a goal or found a financial strategy that works, share with those you’re close to!
Dealing with a budget doesn’t have to be a downer. Money and finances in general play a huge role in our day to day lives, so why not make the most of it?