At that point, we feel stressed, financially restricted, and very unsatisfied. And here’s the kicker: your savings account looks the same as it did 6 months ago.
So the question is, how in the world can you find motivation to save money? You just did!
Right here in this article are 10 actionable tips to keep on track with your budget. Just follow these simple steps to increase your savings and decrease your stress levels.
1. Find the Right Budgeting System
One of the most overlooked reasons why people don’t stick to their budget is that they’re doing it wrong. There are a lot more ways than one to control your spending habits.
If you’re current budgeting system isn’t working out, try out a different one. Keep trying different budgeting systems until you find the one that works best for you.
2. Try Technology
Along with different budgeting systems, there are a plethora of budgeting tools you can use for free. Once you’ve found your ideal budgeting method, see if you can find a free app for it.
Budgeting apps let you set notifications that make it even easier to stick to your plans. This provides you with personalized financial guidance exactly when you need it. You can also find websites that show coupons and deals that can help budget for your planned costs.
3. Don’t Ignore Your Hobbies
Budgeting often makes you feel restricted, like you never get anything you want. That leads to burnout, which leads to binging on impulse buys.
Prove those thoughts wrong by keeping engaged in the things you love. Plan to spend plenty of time and a little of your budget each week indulging in your hobbies.
For example, if you love making art, plan to spend a little of your budget on art supplies each month. Or try a new art activity that costs less money than the art you usually make. Making sculptures from recycled goods is a great example.
If cooking is your thing, keep at it! Search online for fun or easy dinner ideas. Include the ingredients on your next grocery shopping list and try an exciting new recipe.
4. Start Some New, Inexpensive Hobbies
Unfortunately, your favorite hobby might be something crazy expensive, like skydiving. In this case, you may want to try starting a less expensive hobby, like camping.
Better yet, get more involved in activities that cost no money at all. Play board games with your family, take up jogging, borrow some books from your local library, etc.
5. Plan For Your Cravings
Cravings and unplanned impulse buys chip away at your savings account balance surprisingly fast. Today, it’s that shiny new saucepan set that catches your eye while you’re grocery shopping. Tomorrow, it’s that always tempting fast food restaurant on your drive home from work.
Before you know it, you could lose half your paycheck this way, wondering where it all went. The simple answer, of course, is to plan for these cravings now, before they happen.
And we don’t mean you have to cut them out of your life cold turkey, either. Start small.
If you normally spend $30 a week on fast food, cut it down to $15. Check your bank statement to find out how much you spend on these impulse buys and budget half as much from now on. That way, you still get to enjoy these guilty pleasures as a planned part of your monthly budget.
6. Impulse Saving
Since it’s so easy to lose money with little impulse purchases, why not save money the same way? That is, instead of crying over a huge savings deposit you’re not allowed to touch, make a small, easy payment as often as you think about it.
Depositing a little today, plus a little tomorrow is a lot less painful than half your paycheck all at once. Any time you have a little extra that you don’t need for any bills at the moment, put it in savings.
For example, depositing $15 two or three times per week doesn’t sound too hard, right? That’s $150 per month!
Best of all, it’s addictively exciting to see your funds slowly increasing for once rather than decreasing.
7. Surround Yourself With Positive, Budget-Conscious People
This tip is twofold. For one, social engagement with friends and loved ones is another great way to stay positive amidst the stress of sticking to a budget. Plus, it doesn’t have to cost a single dollar.
For two, the friends you surround yourself with can be either good or bad influences on your spending habits. If you have certain people in your life who encourage unhealthy spending habits, you should avoid them. Your true friends, on the other hand, will support your budget-conscious lifestyle.
8. Keep Learning About Budgeting
Here’s what could easily happen after you read this article: nothing. Maybe reading one article isn’t enough to motivate you to keep on track with your budgeting. Perhaps you’re subject to some problems and pitfalls that aren’t covered here.
After all, this article’s only 1000 words long. There’s a lot more to be said about budgeting.
Besides, it’s pretty much impossible to change your habits based on a single corrective message. It takes repetition for a lesson to realy sink in. If you truly want to change, we encourage you to keep reading articles about healthy financial habits.
9. Start a Budgeting Journal
Another way to make sure you change is by keeping a budgeting journal. At the end of any day on which you spend money, crack open your journal. Take notes on whether you were good at staying on budget or naughty.
This will help you become more aware of your good and bad spending habits so you can improve them.
10. Don’t Shop Hungry
Science has proven that shopping when you’re hungry leads you to spend more money hoarding things that you don’t need. That’s it. That’s all there is to say.
Don’t shop hungry or you’ll spend more. It’s a fact.
Find Your Motivation to Save Money
Now you’re equipped with 10 awesome strategies for saving money without burning out. However, as we said, true motivation to save money isn’t going to come from a single article. Keep reading financial/budgeting advice to form healthy spending habits.
And speaking of healthy habits, we have loads of health and wellness advice in our other blog posts. Check our blog for more ways to boost your mental and physical health.