Financial Education

How to stick to your budget

A budget won’t do you much good if you set and then forget it. Once you’ve created a plan for your monthly spending and saving , how do you stick to it?

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Even with your plan in mind, small extra expenses can creep in and add up quickly. If you’re not paying attention, you may not realise how much you’re actually spending. To avoid this, track your spending – this allows you to adjust your spending where needed, or your budget. It can also help keep your plan fresh in your mind.

Use your banking app, bank statements and receipts to record your actual spending for each category. If you can do this weekly, you’ll know how well you’re doing throughout the month.

3 tips to keep it simple:

  1. Fixed expenses: Once you’ve reviewed and lowered your fixed expenses, these are easy to track as they’re exactly the same each month
  2. Variable expenses: Add together all your variable expenses and divide this total into 4 weeks. Then check to see if you’re on track each week. If you’ve overspent one week, cut back the next (if you find you always overspend in a particular category, you may need to adjust your budget)

Pay yourself first: Once you’re comfortable with your plan, automate your savings contributions so that your budget can begin to run itself. You can do this by setting up recurring payments, such as stop orders or debit orders, that are deducted from your account on the day you are paid each month. This means that you can’t accidentally blow your budget, because your extra money isn’t there to spend.

 

 

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