Living on a Budget Part 1
Living your life on a budget can be stressful when dealing with finances. Counting pennies may seem like an annoying hassle, but in the long run it can be effective when dealing with a budget. An extra 50 cents or dollar on an item may not seem like a big difference at the moment, but if you keep that extra dollar and add it to a savings, the dollars will start adding up and you will have more money to spend on bills and other expenses. Here are some other ways to help save money and build a better budget.
Track what you spend
Lunch today, and drinks tomorrow night might not seem a lot, but at the end of the month, all those purchases are added up and you end up spending more than you make. This can happen a lot with people that pay with cards. You don’t have something physical in your hand that you are giving away, so they feeling of spending money will deteriorate. A good way to deal with this is to keep track of the purchases you make by keeping all of the receipts. There is also an easier way to keep track besides keeping receipts if you have a smart phone. As they say…
“There’s an App for That”
There are several effective budget management apps now available at no cost on your smart phone or tablet. A popular one (I use myself) is called Mint. You have to sign in to your bank account and it is able to access all the things you are spending money on and it puts it into categories such as groceries, clothing, and restaurants. You can adjust your budget for each category depending on how much you money you make a month. It shows the flow of your cash and debt as well as other expenses. It can also give you your credit score, for free. It you are a forgetful person with your money, you can set up text or email alerts when you meet your budget on particular categories.
Stopping at Dunkin’ Donuts every morning for a $1.99 coffee doesn’t seem like a lot, but if you add it up, that is $61.69 a month you are spending on coffee. If you buy coffee for your home, it will last you the whole month and you only need to spend a once time $5. That is a savings of $55 a month that could go towards bills.
The same goes for food. If you bought food once a week at the grocery store it would be cheaper than going out to lunch and/or dinner. Spending $100 once a week at the grocery store will feed you seven days a week and is cheaper than buying food for one night that costs around $30. Grocery shopping with a list and clipped coupons will help you with buying only what you need at the store will also help keep your grocery budget down.