5 tips to stick to a budget in 2024

stick to a budget in 2024

5 tips to stick to a budget in 2024

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Creating a budget is the easy part. You then need to stick to a budget. Here are my top five tips to manage that in 2024.

Do you struggle to stick to a budget? I hear you. A lot of my clients struggle with this. I used to struggle with this.

There’s no shame in saying that you created a budget and now you can’t stick to it. The first part of getting help is to admit that there’s a problem. This problem can be fixed, but it’s going to take time. Something you need to do is change your mindset about money.

Once you do that, you’ll be able to stick to budgets without much of an issue. In fact, you’ll love the challenge in the harder months of the year.

Sticking to a budget is a lot like sticking to a diet. It will take some hard work at first. Once you get through the initial stages and you start creating some healthy habits, you’ll find it so much easier to stick to things in the future. And you can do it all with small steps.

These are the exact five tips that I followed to make it possible to stick to my budget.

Make sure your budget is realistic

Do you have a goal of saving $50,000 for a deposit on a house. That’s a great goal to look at. Now you need to budget to meet that goal.

Let’s say you’re going to budget to say $500 of your $2,000 paycheck every month. Okay, is that realistic? If your rent is $1,000, you’re only leaving $500 for needs and some luxuries. Your budget likely isn’t that realistic in the end, and you’re going to find it hard to save money. Suddenly, you’ve blown the budget and you believe that you can’t do it.

What you need to do is look at a longer savings goal* so that you can reduce the amount that you do save each month. Why not reduce it to $250 instead? Then you have $750 left for needs and some luxurious. If you have any over at the end of the month, add more to your savings as a job well done.

Pay yourself first to stick to a budget

Now that you have a realistic goal, it’s time to pay yourself first. You want to put the money into your investments and savings before you do anything else. Learn how to trade options at https://tradingoptionsforbeginners.medium.com/the-best-options-trading-alert-services-and-products-2abe8f159795. Now some will say before you do anything else at all, including paying rent. I don’t have that opinion.

There are some payments that are pretty fixed and you can’t do much about. These are your rent and your utilities. They may also be some debts, such as car loan payments. Now you pay yourself with the money that you have left over.

The rest of the money is what you have for needs and wants. Once you start to pay yourself first, you won’t remember that money. You’re not constantly thinking “I need to save this and not spend it.” The money is already in the designated spot.

Sleep on those large purchases

Do you suffer from FOMO? Maybe you just have a bad habit of impulse spending. It’s time to take a step back from big purchases so you can stick to your budget.

Let’s take a look at that new desk you want from the local furniture store. Your current desk is perfectly fine for the job that you do. It is comfortable to work on and it’s not on the verge of breaking. The only reason you want the new desk is that it’s new. Or maybe it’s a little bigger. Or maybe it’s a standing desk.

There are all sorts of reasons you’ll come up with that it’s a needed item. You need to take a step back. Put it in your cart, sure, but don’t buy it. Shut down the app that you’re using and sleep on it. Take a few days to really think about that purchase.

How much do you actually need it?

I’ve done this with a lot. I have plenty of items on my Amazon Wish List, but I haven’t bought them. I sit on the larger purchases and only buy once I’ve saved up the money for them or when they become a need and not a want.

Try a no-spend challenge to stick to a budget

If you are really bad at impulse purchases, give yourself a new challenge. This was one of the first things I did when it came to buying notebooks and ring binders. They are the things that I spent a lot of money on in the past, even though I didn’t need them.

Implement a no-spend challenge. A lot of people do this in January because of how expensive December is, but you can do it anyway you want.

You’ll spend money on your basic necessities. This includes your rent, your bills, and your grocery costs. However, you’ll limit groceries to only the items you need to eat and not the luxuries that you want to add in. The rest of your money is not for spending at all. Put it all into savings.

Those impulse buys become a definitely no-no. They’re luxurious and not necessities. This will help you reduce the amount that you spend. As you see you don’t need to spend the money as much, you’ll soon find that impulse purchases aren’t as common and you stick to your budget*.

Have a ‘sinking funds’ account

Some people will call this an emergency fund. I distinguish between an emergency fund (3-6 months of income) and a sinking fund (usually around $1k).

Sinking fund accounts are for those purchases that you somewhat know will happen but not when. They can be the car breaks down or the boiler breaks. Maybe you have some minor flood damage from a storm, or maybe there’s an unexpected hospital bill. These are purchases that you need to make right away, but you don’t always have the spare money for it.

Make sure you have the sinking funds account instead of dipping into your savings for the future. I tend to put around $50 per month into the sinking funds account. I’ve used it now and then for unexpected car repairs—just after getting my winter tires on, I got a nail in a tire that couldn’t be patched and I had to replace it completely!

MORE: Why I don’t set New Year Resolutions and what I do instead

How do you make sure you stick to a budget? Which tips do you follow to help you? 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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