Staying on a budget to save money is one of the biggest things that we as people have so many problems with. Hearing most excuses like, it’s too hard; I don’t make enough to save money, I have nothing to save for, and the biggest one of all is when you hear there is no reason too, life is too short to save money. We all have something that we look forward to doing or buying, and usually if we didn’t buy that item when we first noticed it, it’s because we didn’t have the money at the time of purchase. And those are the reasons why we save money, even if we don’t have anything we are looking forward to, we can always start early because things come up. Here are ten tips from HowStuffWorks, focused on staying on a budget with a future purchase in mind. This can help us all raise money for the unpredictable future.
The first tip would be to stay focused on saving. Determine an amount that you want to save for the month and create a budget including your income and expenses for the month. This can also be done in companies, many times when I am budgeting for a film and I have a certain budget I try and save a decent portion for emergencies. So first thing I do is budget everything out.
Secondly they say to use cash, cash helps because you can easily discipline yourself to only take out a certain amont and that is all you have for the week in a personal situation. I do this also; take out 25 dollars and that is my personal money for the week. Using cash helps with being able to see everything in your hand and not just using a card, which with a card its easier to swipe that to count actual paper dollars. In business this may be harder to carry around cash all day, usually everyone prefers cards anyhow.
Cut those bad habits out or at least cut down on them. HowStuffWorks says whether its alcohol or tobacco, if you cut back on it that’s just even more in your savings account. Most say that you cannot stop smoking overnight. Ok, Fine. Make a pack last longer than usual. In business we can do this by just cutting back on unnecessary things like meeting at a restaurant, do a meeting over Skype; its free, saves gas and dinner prices.
Four, you want to make sure that your not the only one focused on budgeting, if you have a spouse they have to be focused also. It doesn’t make sense to save if someone else is going to go back and spend it. In a company it is easy, come together with management and go over the budget with everyone explaining that things will have to be cut back on to save finances.
If you have credit cards start paying down the debt, chose the card with the highest interest rate and pay that one off first, if you have any others pay the minimum each month until the first one is paid off, then do the same to the next. And of course for a company it is the exact same way.
Number six and seven can be fit together, keep your receipts and balance your checkbook. Many times if we look over the receipts that we acquired over the month we can see exactly were all of our money goes. It can get depressing once you realize that a good portion goes to those bad habits, fast food, and just stuff that shouldn’t even been bought. Once we see the damage for the month its easier to cut back and really focus on necessary items. Also balancing your checkbook with those receipts and maybe your bank statement for that month will also allow you to see all expenses. This also gets you in the habit of keeping a balanced checkbook, which is a good habit.
With those receipts, look to find something to cut out, something that isn’t needed, even look at bills and find ways to cut those down. Maybe open windows during the day with a blowing, instead of turning on the AC. Going grocery shopping one every two weeks instead of going every time you think of something to eat. Planning trips, like going to get groceries, go pay this bill, go to class, and then come home. Instead most of us find ourselves coming home and leaving back out because you forgot something. Going to the grocery store with out a list, this wastes time, makes us pick up random groceries (making us go back later), go home to see that we bought doubles of things and nothing makes a complete meal.
Number Nine from HowStuffWorks says to have a special account, a bank account. “If you find that you keep reaching into your savings, set up a CD or other account with early withdrawal penalties. Banks and other institutions pay more interest if you'll agree to let them use your money for a longer amount of time. Putting your savings into a yearly CD will yield more than a three-month note would.”
Finally number ten, encourages you to be flexible, most budgets have to be flexible because we don’t know what tomorrow entails. So having an extra little money to the side for those sorrow Saturdays, and Sunday fun days’ aren’t that bad but use them for what they are their for. Being able to adjust your budget for need instead of wants is okay.