6 Tips to Make Budgeting Easier
If you haven’t been dedicated to your budget for a while, it may seem like a daunting and overwhelming task to get back into it.
If you break it down into an actionable plan, you can make budgeting easier.
After you have your budget set up, here are some easy ways to stick to it. (Still need to set up your budget? Check here first.)
Make a Backup Plan
I’ve learned that the more prepared you are for a situation, the better it will play out.
Put a little thought into occasions where your budget might not go as planned.
This might include
- an unexpected expense popping up,
- an expense costing more than you thought,
- your paycheck being less than usual,
- or other circumstance unique to your situation.
Think about what you can do to combat the problem before it shows up.
You may want to pad your savings account, use cash to help you stick to your budget, or shift some payments around to make your budget work.
What can you do to make your budget a bit more flexible?
Schedule a Time
If you’re not in the habit of budgeting, you might forget to do it.
Schedule a time to look over your expenses to make sure they are paid on time. Keep track of payments made inside your budget system.
I find it easiest to budget each time that I get paid. Bills due in this paycheck immediately get paid and I set aside my savings.
Be specific about the day and time that you will check your budget. For example “I will look at my budget on payday at 7:00 after dinner and before I watch my show on TV.”
Set a Reminder
To double up on your scheduled time, set a reminder in your phone or in your calendar to look at your budget.
If you are a visual person, set something out on your desk, on your mirror, or somewhere you will see it to remind you it’s time to check you budget.
This could be a post-it note, a budgeting notebook if you use paper, an envelope of a bill that is due or something else that helps you remember.
Putting bill payments and even savings on automatic can help make sure your bills get in on time.
I’m able to split my paycheck into multiple direct deposits, so I automatically send a specific amount into savings each payday.
There are other bills that are not automatic, so this won’t completely alleviate you from checking in on your budget.
You also don’t want automation to bite you because you forgot an expense was about to come out. Automation is convenient, but it’s not a substitution for keeping an eye on your money.
Use the Right Tool for You
Everyone is different and it’s important that you use the budgeting tool that makes the most sense to you.
For those who prefer pen and paper, make sure you have a notebook that you like that will help you track your income, spending and savings goals.
If you hate writing everything down, then you might prefer an app on your phone or desktop computer. Using the app provided by Triggator will allow you to link your bank accounts to your budget and mark transactions as soon as they are synced into the app.
Triggator will help you keep track of less common expenses (such as birthday’s and holiday’s), help you pay off debt, and more.
Whatever system you decide to use, make sure it’s one you are comfortable with and it will help ease the burden of budgeting.
Give Yourself Time
Just like any new skill, you won’t be perfect at budgeting right away.
You will likely find that you need to adjust and tweak from month to month for a few months before you get everything worked out.
We’re going for progress here, not perfection.
The longer you stick to your budget and keep an eye on your money, the easier it will become and you won’t have to worry about it as much anymore.
We hope you find these tips helpful. Happy budgeting!