When it comes to creating your own monthly budget, sometimes planning is easier than the practice. Keeping track of finances can be tricky, but, with a few guidelines and time, you can take charge of your bank account once and for all.
Adopt a weekly allowance
Parents offer their children an allowance to teach them about saving money, and the same principles can be applied to your own spending as an adult. Set aside a specific amount for treats and other nonessential expenditures, and vow that once the money is gone, extras can wait until next week.
Avoid eating your meals out
Planning out your meals for the week and grocery shopping ahead of time may seem like a pain, but it can help you save money in the long run. Eating out at restaurants and fast food places adds up significantly over time. Just remember to be cautious at the grocery store or warehouse store to avoid temptation buys.
Consider saving to be a payment to yourself
Adding to your savings account after each paycheck is just as important as paying any other bill, so treat it as such. Choose a set amount to put away from each paycheck you receive and, before you know it, the number in your savings account will be something you can be proud of.
Save all of your receipts
Keeping receipts is a great way to see your spending in action. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember how much a cup of coffee a day or a take-out meal each week adds up by the end of the month, but putting your receipts in a secure spot and adding up the amounts can help prevent you from overspending.
Leave the cards at home
There’s nothing wrong with using your credit cards or debit cards for the occasional purchase, but it’s best to use cash for everyday shopping. Cards make it extremely easy to overspend. If you aren’t handing the cashier money, it’s like you aren’t spending it, right? The truth is, cards can lead to dangerous spending binges, and cash is often the best way to avoid spending more than you have.
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