Sometimes it feels like money flies out the door the moment after it gets deposited in your checking account. But if you find yourself consistently wondering where it all goes, it’s probably time for you to establish a weekly budget.
Creating a budget will make it easier to keep track of your money, avoid getting into sticky financial situations and maybe even find a little left over for savings. Keep in mind that making a budget and sticking to it isn’t too difficult and in the long run, it can save you a lot of stress.
If you follow these tips, you’ll find it easy to create a workable budget:
* Use a gift card to keep yourself on track. Having a gift card set with a certain amount will help you spend only what you should. A Vanilla Visa gift card or other Visa gift card can be used at a variety of retailers, including gas stations and grocery stores. Use your card only on one item category (such as gas, groceries, etc.) and it will only allow you to spend the amount that has been pre-loaded on the card. To find out what your Visa gift card balance is, go to iCardKeeper.com, or use the iCardKeeper app – with just a few clicks, you can find out how much you have left to spend.
* Make a spending log. Knowing where your money is going is important. If you write down each expenditure, you’ll likely be surprised by all the ways you can find to trim your spending and find more economical options for the items you buy.
* Look out for indulgences. Things that are a pleasure to buy are often the things that eat up our money in small, unnoticed ways. If you have a habit of buying a latte every morning, or purchasing new albums every week, take notice of it and make the effort to curb, rather than totally eliminate your spending. If you treat yourself to a gourmet coffee on Friday and Monday, you’ll still be saving what you would otherwise have spent on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
The key to setting a budget is being sensible, but not going overboard. If you put overly harsh restrictions on yourself, it won’t be sustainable. Just remember to budget enough to have fun and enjoy life without breaking the bank.