After learning about how to create an achievable budget (if you missed that post you can catch it here) you are now well on your way to creating financial success in 2016. So the big question is, how do you maximize your chances of sticking to your budget? Don’t let the hard work you put into creating your budget go to waste with these simple strategies.
After each month ends, it’s important to take the time to review your bank and credit card statements to see if your budget was realistic. Identify which areas you didn’t quite manage, for instance your expenditure on food and drinks (those daily lattes you grab on your way to work really add up). Can you come up with any opportunities to reduce inefficient spending, such as making your own coffee and bringing it in a thermos or keep cup ($5 a day is $35 a week, and $35 a week is $1820 a year).
I like to update the monthly column in my budget for my actual income and expenditure. This means that my opening cash balance for the following month is accurate, and I can tweak items in the budget if necessary. Over time, you will get better at creating an accurate budget because you will have a history of actual results to base it on. You will also be able to plan for purchasing big-ticket items like holidays, gifts and that new MacBook Pro you have always wanted. Your budget will help you identify when you will have enough funds to make your dreams a reality!
A lot of people shy away from getting a credit card because they are scared that they will rack up debts. However if you’re diligent with your spending, having a credit card can help you manage your cash flow by deferring the payment of expenses, particularly if you get paid once a month.
Paying for non-negotiable items like your telephone and insurances on your credit card via direct debit also avoids you having to remember when payments fall due and helps you to develop a good credit history. Just be sure to pay your credit card balance each month to avoid paying interest.You can also earn points for flights if you sign up to a credit card with a loyalty program. Hello free flights to Bali!
So there you have it – sticking to your budget is easy if you invest a little time each month into making it work for you. You might even find that you enjoy the process as you watch your savings account grow!
Amanda is on a mission to inspire professional women to be their happiest and healthiest self. An accountant in the busy corporate world, Amanda knows first-hand the challenges women face to prioritise their wellbeing and she is passionate about changing this mindset. Amanda proudly admits that she is a Lorna Jane addict and is dedicated to the Move Nourish Believe philosophy. She loves homemade Kombucha, Bikram yoga and lifting weights at the gym.
Amanda writes at Gorgeous Presence where she shares practical advice inspired from her very own health and wellness journey.