The Five Best Budgeting Tips That Anyone Can Use

  • By Jillian Taylor-Mancusi, B.A., C.I.R.P

Budget Close Up

Most of us have financial goals. Whether your goal is to save money, pay down debt, invest, or all of the above, one thing is certain—you’ll need a budget to get you there. A budget is a necessary tool that helps track your expenses and allocate where your funds go each month. But budgeting can be frustrating, especially when money is tight.  If you’ve ever tried to make and stick to a budget before but failed, don’t worry. The following five budgeting tips that anyone can use are tried and true ways to help anyone make a workable budget that’s easy to follow.

#1: Track your expenses online.

Pretty much every bank has a website that allows you to log in and see activity on your account. This will make tracking your spending each month a cinch and eliminates the need to save receipts when you use a card. This is particularly useful when you first start to make a budget and need to get an idea of your current spending habits.

#2: Switch to cash only.

We live in an increasingly cash-free world, so this one can take some getting used to. However, it’s one of the most effective ways to keep from going over your budget. At the beginning of each month or pay period, withdraw your budgeted amount of cash for food, entertainment, clothing, and gas. Keep them in envelopes for easy organization, and leave your debit and credit cards at home when you shop. You’ll be shocked at how much more mindful you are of your spending when there really is a limited amount.

#3: Put your credit cards away.

Unless you pay your credit card balance off each month, remove temptation to overspend by taking your credit cards out of your wallet or purse altogether. Continually charging things will only take you further away from your goals. It also eats up more of your monthly budget when the credit card bills arrive and your minimum payments get higher and higher.

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#4: Get creative when cutting expenses.

This can be tricky, especially if your budget is already stretched thin. But if you need to cut expenses, you’ll have to use some creativity. Eliminate all non-essentials, like premium cable, monthly subscriptions, and eating out. Then, start thinking out of the box. Consider cutting the amount you spend on gas, for example, by organizing a carpool to work. Or start clipping or downloading coupons and watch your grocery bill go down drastically. A little creativity goes a long way when it comes to saving.

#5: Save automatically.

A savings account is a must, but it’s often the first thing to go when cutting expenses. If your paycheck is deposited directly, have a portion directly sent to your savings each month. This way, you won’t even notice it’s gone.

A savings account is a must, but it’s often the first thing to go when cutting expenses. If your paycheck is deposited directly, have a portion directly sent to your savings each month. This way, you won’t even notice it’s gone.

Remember, a budget is a living document. Nothing is set in stone, so change it as needed to fit your goals and financial situation.

Are you a budget guru? What do you do to help you make and stick to a budget? Share your budgeting tips below!

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi, B.A., C.I.R.P

Jillian has worked in the insolvency field since 1992. She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba. She received her Insolvency Counselor’s Qualification Certificate from Ryerson Polytechnic University in 1998, and in 2007 she attained her license as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. Jillian is a Read More Jillian has worked in the insolvency field since 1992. She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba. She received her Insolvency Counselor’s Qualification Certificate from Ryerson Polytechnic University in 1998, and in 2007 she attained her license as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. Jillian is a member of the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP). She is Past President of the Manitoba Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (MAIRP).Jillian has held positions on the Armstrong Point Association, Executive of her local EDA Riding Association, Manitoba Highland Dance Association, and the Continuing Education Committee of CAIRP. Previously, Jillian was the Treasurer for the Parent Association at her daughter’s school. Currently, Jillian serves as the Vice Chair for Dressage Winnipeg. Close

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