My No. 1 tip for sticking to a budget: Do you need it?

sticking to a budget

My No. 1 tip for sticking to a budget: Do you need it?

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Making a budget is easy. We can all do that. It’s sticking to a budget that’s the hardest. This is what I do to help.

We’ve all made budgets before. We’ve filled out the boxes on spreadsheets to say how much we spend on rent, utility bills, groceries, and everything else. In business, we’ve said how much we have in overhead expenses and tracked our subscriptions that are necessary.

Making a budget is easy. Sticking to a budget certainly isn’t. And it’s sticking to a budget that is going to be your downfall, learn about HR and IT management.

I used to struggle all the time sticking to my budget. Then I changed my mindset. There is a lot that goes into sticking to that budget and having the willpower, but it all starts with one big question.

Do you really need what you want to buy?

There are some things we need. They’ll be to pay the rent or mortgage, or they’ll be to heat the home or put food on the table. These are necessities to survive in the world.

A car could also be an essential. Maybe your computer or your internet bill is. Some items aren’t going to be essentials to others, but they will be to you. This isn’t about what other people need. It’s about what you need. Comparing prices at usave.co.uk to get the best broadband deals according to your usage will save you money in the long run.

Then there are items that you really don’t need. They are wants and desires.

It could be that new desk you’ve been eyeing up. The current desk is doing just fine. You don’t have any complaints. You just want something shiny and new. Or it could be eating at your favorite restaurant. You need food but you don’t necessarily need that food.

If you don’t need something, you then need to assess whether it is in the budget. Do you have the space for it, and are you willing to spend that money now?

Can you save up for it while sticking to a budget?

Instead of buying it right away, you could opt for saving for it. This could take some money out of a savings budget somewhere, or maybe it means not having the fast food budget you’d usually have. You’d need to find the money from somewhere.

The benefit of saving for it is that you’re not putting it on a credit card and hoping for the best. You’re not burying your head in the sand. You’re taking control of the money you have available to spend.

Your want can eventually turn into a need. It’s better to take your time to save and buy when you have the money (and when it’s on sale!) instead of having to do a quick purchase when times are already tough.

MORE: Why everyone in the household needs to be on board with the family budget

Put it in your basket but don’t buy

You may be an impulsive shopper. Or maybe your mood leads to you spending money that you don’t necessarily have. The needs and wants thing may not work immediately. You need to get out of the mood first.

So, go on Amazon and put whatever you want into your shopping cart. DO NOT BUY!

It really is important that you don’t go to checkout. Instead, you want to shut down the app and go do something else. Get the housework done, read a book, just find something to do instead of hitting the checkout button.

Once you’re in a better mood, go back into your shopping cart. How much of that do you really need? Probably none of it. If there are needed items keep them and clear the rest. If there are no needed items clear everything but one thing. Just one. Buy that one thing.

You’ve now settled your need to spend the money because of your mood, and you’ve managed to save a lot of what you could have spent. Eventually, you’ll start removing everything from the basket except a genuine need.

MORE: Why I use Mint for all my budgeting needs

What are you struggling with financially? What do you need help with when it comes to budgeting? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Alexandria Ingham is a professional writer. She predominately ghost-writes in various niches, including fitness, finance and technology Everything is fully researched and well-written. Under her own name, she writes in the technology, business, history and weight loss niches

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