10 Habits To Get You In Charge of Your Spending And A FREE Template Giveaway
These habits will set you on course for better budgeting and give you more command of your spending.
1. Plan your spending in categories like rent and mortgage, loans and credit cards, groceries, car and travel, utility bills, donation, personal spending money. This gives you a clear picture of how much you’re spending and what you’re spending on.
2. Plan for expenses that don’t coincide with your payment cycle. For example, if you’re paid weekly but your car insurance is due monthly, plan how much to set aside to make this monthly payment. Do this for each expense.
3. Set yourself a realistic savings goal and include it in the budget.
4. Reward yourself when you meet your savings goal. Do plan for this reward.
5. Include discretionary spending in your budget like personal expense (movies, sports games etc). This will affect how much you can save. It should be high enough to allow you enjoy some of the finer things, but not to the extent that you cannot save. It’s a delicate balance.
6. Have a dedicated holding account for future bills and other non-discretionary expenses. The idea is to differentiate dedicated funds from personal spending money. Do this to separate funds for bills that don’t coincide with your payment cycle.
7. Spend to budget and live within your means.
8. On spending and red labels here’s a tip: don’t score a bargain you can’t afford. If there’s a lay-by option and you don’t have the money now, take it and pay for it slowly. That’s how I bought my wife’s, and my own, wedding rings. Remember, the salesperson does not know about your financial situation and – to be honest – doesn’t care.
9. Review your budget regularly and whenever your financial circumstances change to ensure that it’s relevant.
10. Get someone you trust to hold you accountable.
I’ve included a free Excel planning template to help you work out how much to set aside for future bills. Feel free to use it as a tool to get a clear picture of your expenses. I personally have not prepared a budget in months simply because my spending habits have not really changed. So the last one I prepared is still relevant.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.