Here are a few tips we use to stay on a budget:
$ If you are married or have a significant other, talk about money often. If not, talk to a good friend about money and your plans on how to budget. My husband and I talk about our budget and our money at least once a week. He is a numbers guy so he will look at our bank account several times per week and see how we are doing with our goals.
$ Write down a specific budget. Yes I know it doesn’t sound fun and we can vouch for that. It was painful in the beginning. Neither one of us wanted to look at our account in the beginning but once we actually sat down and looked at the numbers and created a plan (and stuck with the plan) it got easier. I will create a separate blog post later on specific things we did to cut down our monthly budget.
$ Alter your budget when needed. After a month goes by, look at your budget and see how you are doing. Was your original budget pretty accurate or did you spend more than you thought on food or diapers? Change the budget accordingly. Also, there are some months you may get paid an extra time. What are you doing with that money? Can you use it to pay something off?
$ Don’t give up things you like. Life would not be fun if I had to give up shopping. I love to shop. My husband knows this. He likes to play sports on church teams. Neither one of us wanted to give up those things so we didn’t. Think about what you like to do the most and put that in your budget.
$ Look at the big picture. We talk about goals for the future all the time. We talk about what it is going to feel like to be debt free. We talk about traveling around the world with our kids. We talk about being coaches for sports and being available to our kids because that is what we want most and this is why we are pushing so hard to accomplish our goals.
$ Use a frame or keep some way to display your hard work. Hello my blog is called Frame to Freedom! For us it is a good way to display our financial accomplishments. If you don’t see it sometimes your don’t feel like it is real. We see the frame all the time because it is hung in our office. It is kind of like a vision board to us.
$ If you get off track, jump back on the horse. Just like the foods I eat, I guarantee I will not be on budget a 100% of the time and that’s ok. I am not gonna beat myself up over it. Get over it and move on.
I hope these tips help in some small way. I will include more as I think of them!!!
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