If you have a tight budget, be it because you’re looking to save money for retirement and assisted living payments or you’re simply not making as much as you’d like, it can be hard to know what to do to make sure that you’re sticking to your budget. Because while you may have made your budget with the best of intentions, it’s important that you actually have a plan for staying within your budget if you want this budget to work for you.
To help you in making this happen, here are three tips to help you stay within a tight budget.
Make Your Budget Plan Simple
Once you’ve decided that it’s a tight budget that you’ll need to work with, you then need to have a plan for how you’ll actually budget your money.
To do this in a way that will actually be usable, it’s wise to make a simple budget that will be easy for you to follow. Ideally, you should try to avoid having too many categories that you are trying to split your money up into. Rather, you should consider something like the 50/30/20 budget. This entails spending 50 percent of your budget on necessities, 30 percent on things that you want, and 20 percent on savings or debt payments. If you can make your budget work within these parameters, you can have a bit more freedom with exactly how you’re spending your budgeted money.
Try Weekly Versus Monthly Budgeting
When you get paid, it can feel like you have tons of money to work with throughout the week. But when you get stuck in this mindset, it can also be easy to blow through your money and not end up sticking through your budget throughout the entire month.
To fight against this, you may want to try thinking about your budget on a weekly basis rather than on a monthly basis. If you can figure out your tight budget based on how much you’ll be spending per week rather than trying to stretch your money for the entire month, you might find it easier to manage your money and stick to your budget.
Start Using Cash
If you consistently go outside of your budget, something that you can try to help you reel things in is to pay for things with cash as much as possible.
While some of your bills or other payments will be most conveniently paid online, when you’re spending money on groceries or other expenses where you’d normally use a card, try switching to cash instead. This way, you can see exactly how much cash you have left throughout the week or month and ensure that you make choices that will help you stay within this tight budget.
If you need some assistance sticking to your tight budget, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you in doing this.