Many of us know that our financial decision making need improvement. But it is difficult because there are just so many things that come up financially that prevent us from making and sticking to a budget. However chances are if we don’t learn to budget better, we may stay in deep debt and never meet our financial goals. Here are four very effective tips that provide financial advice to help you save money.
Make a Financial Plan for Yourself
Create a budget for your daily weekly and monthly needs. Put in every important cost that you have to expend during each time period. Doing this will allow you to gain an honest sense of what you are spending. You may be surprised at how small things that you spend on add up to a lot of money at the end of the month.
With this plan in hand you can make adjustments that are realistic. People tend to think that they can easily cut out 30% of their spending. Once they do a plan however, they often find that 15% is a more realistic number. Planning also allows you to see the big items that you spend money on and you can begin to question whether they are really necessary. Do you need to move to a less expensive apartment? Do you need both a car and a motorcycle? Can you find places where you can clothes shop that are less expensive or can you find better times to shop at your favorite stores? Remember most clothing stores will easily knock off 70% from the price of the clothing after the season.
Set Specific Goals
Create great reasons for why you want to budget. Perhaps you want to save money to go on a vacation, take a few classes online, have your mom come visit you, or buy a new outfit that you’ve been eyeing for a long time. Any of these ideas will mean that you save some money. By having a goal as the reason for saving it will help you to put money away when you are tempted to purchase something.
Leave Your Credit Cards at Home
Never walk around with your credit cards in your wallet or your purse. If you do you will find things to purchase that you should never buy. If you need something important you can always go home and grab a credit card to purchase it. The premise is similar to the idea of never going shopping when you’re hungry. It’s proven that if you go into a supermarket when you’re hungry, you will buy many things that you would never have bought if you are not hungry.
So keep your credit cards at home in a drawer and when you find something that you need to use your credit cards on then take them to that store. Chances are you will often talk yourself out of purchasing the item with that credit card and thereby saving lots of money and credit card charges.
Don’t Worry about Setbacks
Anytime we take on a new challenge we can expect setbacks, and learning to budget better is no exception. No matter how well we may be doing at any point during this journey, there will be times that we simply do not meet our own expectations. Perhaps you spend more on a night out than you expected, you find a pair of shoes that you absolutely love and they break your budget, or you stay an extra day on a weekend trip.
The idea is not to punish yourself all the time because you’re not perfect, it is to get you into the habit of being aware of your spending and making better spending choices. Sometimes this will mean making a bad choice so you can understand that it is a bad choice. So if you do make a bad choice, learn from it and do better next time.
These four tips can get you on the right road to better spending habits. Take them with you and read them if you find yourself reaching for your wallet too often.