Top tips to stick to your monthly budget.

The easy part of a budget is creating the outline.

 

And the most difficult part is sticking to it. Don’t worry; there are many ways you can follow your monthly budget.

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 Here are some top tips to help you stick to your budget every month.

Breaking Down Your Budget

If you have set a monthly budget, you can break it down to a weekly budget and help yourself manage some of the more week to week events. This helps you become smarter with your spending, and may allow you to carry over additional money from week to week.

Cancelling Subscriptions

Many service providers such as Spotify or Netflix offer a free trial period where you can use the premium service for free. These services require your card details and charge you immediately after the trial period has expired. It is easy to forget signing up for them and it adds up very quickly if you don’t check your bank account often. A tip that helps keep track of subscriptions is to set a phone reminder a day or two before your free trial expires to make sure you have unsubscribed from the service. 

Take Advantage of Deals

Sign up for loyalty cards and rewards schemes that allow you to get coupons sent to your phone app, email or physical vouchers sent in the post. Your points can build up surprisingly quickly, so don’t forget to check for potential rewards regularly. Signing up for mailing lists and newsletters at places you visit frequently enables you with a chance to earn discounts that will help your budget.

Compare Brands

While it may be tempting to always buy recognisable food brands, the generic alternative often does the same job. On average, when shopping for groceries, you can save 8-9% on your bill by buying a generic brand of food instead of the name brand. Items like cereal, peanut butter, and dairy items are generally very identical regardless of brand. 

Be Realistic

It is technically possible to eat nothing but rice and chicken every day to maximize the amount of money you save each month, but it is not reasonable. Remember that your new budget is a lifestyle change so it needs to be sustainable in the long-term. A big part of sticking to your budget is understanding what you can allow yourself. Cutting back within reason is important and you should consider your health before your wallet.

"Budgeting doesn't have to be over complicated and shouldn't feel restrictive"

Budgeting is difficult at first, but as you become used to optimizing the way you spend you start to save money towards your future goals. Budgeting can be a great enabler in reaching financial freedom and is an important skill to master.

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