GUEST POST from BargainMoose.ca: 4 Ways to Help you Stick to your Budget

guest post

 

I love guest posts, one because I don’t have to do much work other than approve the content and two it allows my readers to hear from another great site helping their fans and friends save MONEY!

Thank you Clare from BargainMoose.ca for this great article on BUDGETING!

4 Ways to Help you Stick to your Budget

Let’s face it, budgets are not fun. That’s probably why we rarely keep them. They rarely make you feel good about yourself because inadvertently budgets are always broken or cheated. They remind us of diets, which are of course are not fun either. Both of these have a commonality that the budgeter or dieter always feels like they are depriving themselves. This deprivation of course does not do much to encourage behaviour change, which is really the root of the problem (spending $500 a month on shoes or clothes or dining out is the root of the problem, not telling yourself that you have a $50 budget for the above and then feeling guilty and breaking your budget anyway).

Here are 4 ways that may help you stick to your budget:

Look at the Non-negotiable and negotiable

Look at your budget and consider the non-negotiable aspects of your budget (like shelter, food, and utilities). These are parts of your budget that always have to be paid and utilized. Now look at the negotiable aspects of your budget. These items are personal care (e.g. hair cuts or manicures), clothing (people don’t really need to be shopping for clothes on a monthly basis, they really don’t), and travel or vacation.

Now, some people may argue that these negotiable aspects are actually negotiable.budget1

It’s important to set priorities with your budget otherwise it will go awry because your priorities will reflect the expenditures in your budget, often without reflecting on the actual created budget itself.

Be Honest with Yourself

Just like it’s hard to change your behaviour or admit that you are physically unfit or have been eating badly, it can be difficult to look at your personal finance habits and change.

Start with small steps to change behaviour instead of a large and unachievable task. These will be more rewarding than not being able to achieve the larger task and feeling bad about your failure. For example, tell yourself you are going to reduce your dining out by once a week from five times a week, instead of telling yourself you will only dine out once a week.

No Credit Cards

Although credit cards are great for getting reward points and cash back, unfortunately we often end up borrowing more than we make and find ourselves having difficulty paying off the credit card bill once we receive it in the mail.

Having visible cash allows you to see how much you have left. You’ll be much more careful with it compared to credit cards.

budget2If all Else Fails, Pay Yourself First

Because budgets are not fun, if all else fails, pay yourself first. This strategy allows for you to ensure that you are saving up or paying down your debt because that will be the first thing you do with your pay cheque once it gets deposited into your account. You can either set it up automatically or do it yourself manually each pay day.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has a great budget template that separates the non-negotiable (needs) with the negotiable (wants) aspects of a budget.

What are your hints and tips for helping stick to a budget?

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This guest article was written by Clare, who is an expert money-saving author on Canadian shopping site Bargainmoose.ca,  which specialises in hot deals and coupon codes.  On Bargainmoose, Clare writes about everything from arts and crafts to personal finance, and today she’s going to be sharing a piece about sticking to your budget.

Thank you Clare for this informative Guest Post. Would you like to WRITE for CouponChristine.com?  Send me an email at Christine@CouponChristine.com 🙂

Photo courtesy of Interior Design HQ and Martell Home Builders 

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