These days, it’s safe to say that everyone knows how important a good set of spending and saving habits can be. Though we know we need to work hard on keeping our money management habits on track, we don’t always know how to top the bad habits that could be preventing us from reaching our goals.
After all, when you’re in school, they teach you all about maths and biology, but there’s no-one there to tell you how to avoid debt and manage interest. That’s one of the reasons why so many people find themselves struggling with an ineffective budgeting strategy. The good news is that if you’re still making mistakes with your budget, you don’t have to worry. We all struggle at times.
Here we’ll look at some common money mistakes, and how you can overcome them.
1. Forgetting to Use your Budget Properly
It’s one thing saying that you’re going to start budgeting at the end of one month – it’s another thing entirely to actually start tracking your spending and managing your costs. If you’re concerned that you’re going to be all talk and no action again, make sure that you put steps in place to prevent yourself from ignoring your budget.
Download an app to your phone that tracks your spend automatically and sends you reminders of when you’re coming up close to your limits. Sit down with your family and work together on creating a set of goals you want to accomplish with your spending changes.
2. Not Comparing your Options
Savvy spending isn’t just about figuring out which things you need to stop spending money on. If you want to better behavewith your cash, then you also need to commit some time to makingsure that you’re not over-spending on the things you buy. Make sure that you comparison shop with everything – from your groceries and your big-ticket items, to your monthly bills.
You can save a serious amount of cash on things like insurance, utilities and more just by checking your options online.
3. Forgetting to Have Fun
Budgeting and managing your spending isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare either. A lot of people end up falling off the budgeting bandwagon simply because they don’t leave themselves any room to have fun by the time they’ve finished paying for bills and putting money into saving.
Look for ways that you can set some extra cash aside for the occasional movie night or meal with your partner. Even if it means working an extra side job, it’s worth it to have some fun.
4. Not Planning for the Unexpected
Some regular expenses willpop into your mind immediately as soon as you start budgeting. You know you have to pay for groceries each month, gas, electricity, and your car. However, there are also costs to consider that don’t happen as often as you might think. For instance, what about when you need to spend money on a present for a birthday?
Have you got extra cash aside for when you need a haircut, or when you need to replace an old pair of shoes? How about emergencies? Are you prepared if your oven suddenly breaks, or you find that you need to upgrade your car?
5. Trying to Do It Alone
If you’re part of a family, it can be helpful to get everyone involved in the budget, so that you know you have as much support as possible. Getting the input of your partner and explaining the budget to the kids makes it easier for everyone to stay on the right track towards a set of joint goals.
Even if you’re budgeting alone, you don’t have to do everything by yourself. Tell a friend or family member about your goals and ask them to help you stay on track by reminding you not to spend when you’re feeling tempted.
6. Forgetting to be Adaptable
While your budget is something that you should try to stick to whenever possible, it’s important to remember that your spending and saving habits may need to change sometimes, depending on what’s going on in your life. Ultimately, we all face changes in our worlds from time to time – whether you get a new job, or you find out that you’ll be soon welcoming a new member into your family.
Remember to come back to your budget regularly and check it for signs that it needs adjustment. When you do make changes, ensure that you keep your goals in mind.