It’s a common conception that sticking to a basic monthly budget is easier said than done. Deviations usually occur because our plans do not account for the long term. Were we seriously going to say no to all discretionary spending for over six months? Were we going to skip the coffee shop lattes indefinitely?
Every monthly budget needs a little wiggle room.
The trick is finding balance without being too strict. Fortunately, we’ve gathered three easy-to-follow tips for sticking to your financial goals. Get your pens ready to take notes. Here are some surefire ways to budget and stick with it.
Why should we be proactive with our budget?
A budget is a tool that keeps your finances in good standing. Without budgeting, you could overdraft your account or fail to cover basic living costs. Plus, people who proactively track their expenses usually have more in their savings and emergency funds. When you create a budget, you should list all the ways you spend your money. Once you tally your expenses, you compare it to your monthly income. If there is not much leftover, you would need to strategize how to adjust it.
How to stick to a monthly budget
For starters, never make big purchases without a payment plan. The exception would be in the case of an emergency. Additionally, you should consider your funding method for a minimum of thirty days. It’s easy to sign up for limited-time offers but hard to reverse them if they’re the wrong fit.
Secondly, stop paying unnecessary fees. Achieva Credit Union will no longer charge our members the $8.00 overdraft transfer fee*. That means, anytime you have insufficient funds to cover an item posting to your checking account, we will no longer charge an overdraft transfer fee to automatically move the funds from one Achieva account to another (as long as you have an eligible account linked through our overdraft transfer service.) Maintaining a monthly budget takes work, and having fewer fees will help you stick to it.
Lastly, plan your meals and have snacks on hand for occasional hunger strikes. You’d be surprised how much impulse food purchases can drain a budget. By avoiding temptation with tasty alternatives, you’ll be less prone to spend unplanned.
What categories should I include in my budget?
If you need inspiration on organizing your budget, we have an additional article to check out. Learn about different types of household budgets and their expense categories here. As always, we care about the financial well-being of our members and will continue to support financial education throughout our service communities.