Too many people give up on their budget when money becomes overly structured. When there isn’t enough room to breathe or have some fun, the budget falls wayside. What are we all juggling? Let’s see, we have to make time for work, family and fit in sleep? We eat and drive, change in the car and pay bills from our phones. It’s hard to keep up with the demands of a budget unless smart financial decisions help simplify our finances.
1. Don’t think about saving money, just do it. Set up automatic deposits every month or better yet, on each payday. You can take a few moments of your time and schedule repeat transfers. If you have direct deposit with your employer, you can fill out a simple form. The money will deposit into your savings account without ever going into your checking. You will never miss it. If direct deposit is not part of your plan but you use online banking, you can set your own transfer. Set the date. Set the amount. Select the account to transfer and the account to receive. Schedule. It can’t be any easier to prioritize a savings account.
2. Don’t forget to budget fun. Our lives are busy. Fit some fun into your budget. Even if you plan a family event once a month, it gives everyone something to look forward to. Buy a new game and play it as a family. Take a road trip together or have a ‘make your own pizza’ night. You have to let loose. Children need to see their parents having fun and enjoy activities together. Making memories is free. You don’t have to spend anything to put a smile on a loved one’s face or a lasting memory in their head.
3. Go shopping with someone who is in the same financial boat as you. Not only will you enjoy your shopping day with a friend, but you won’t feel that pressure to or guilt to buy everything she/he does. Keep each other on track with reminders when you consider purchasing something unnecessary. Help each other stick to the shopping goals:
* Is it a need or a want?
* Do you have to purchase it now?
* Can you find a cheaper price elsewhere?
* Is there a more inexpensive version?
* Is it something you could buy secondhand or borrow from a friend?
4. Make healthy choices. Get enough rest, eat right and have supportive people around you. When you are physically and mentally happy, you won’t need to rely on purchases to make you feel good.
5. Be honest to yourself. Understand your relationship with money. Do you have willpower to cut down or cut out when your finances demand? Don’t let well enough alone. Always be on the lookout to find new ways to improve your financial outlook.
It’s good to have a happy and healthy approach towards life and the money you need to live it. Smart decisions promote good results. Don’t just think about living a financially free life, do it!