This is the fourth part of five parts from the “Budget Tips” series that will help your create a budget to help you better manage your money and personal finances.
While making your list of monthly expenses you likely made some very shocking discoveries.
Were you spending more money each month than you thought?
Do not worry if you were because this is quite common. Not that you have come to this realization it is time for you to begin thinking about if certain changes need to take place.
It can be quite easy to feel the need for expensive things that really are not necessary, but you have to ask yourself if you really need them.
The following chapter will go over the importance of getting rid of some of the financial burdens in your life and cutting down others. It will also provide you with some valuable tips that will help you to get rid of the things you do not need.
Get Rid of Unnecessary Expenses
It seems like in today’s society you have to spend money on unnecessary things in order to be able to fit in. For example, everywhere you look you will be sure to see a teenager with an iPhone or some other smart phone.
The kids that do not have one are considered to be outsiders and are not accepted by their peers. Although it may seem like a necessary expense to go get an iPhone, it really isn’t.
Now that you have made your list of your monthly expenses and your monthly income it is time to start comparing the two lists with one another.
If you ever plan on getting ahead in life you must make sure that you are pulling in more money than you are spending, it’s only common sense. This doesn’t mean that you make two dollars more a month than your expenses total up to.
It means that you should have substantial breathing room because unexpected things happen in life and you may make less money during one month than others.
If you are spending more money each month than you take in you are in a bad spot and your surely know it and can feel the consequences.
It can feel like you are stuck in a black hole with no way out. The power of the hole continues to suck you deeper and deeper in until you can no longer see light and can no longer manage your debts.
If you want to adhere to a budget and create a financial success for your life you will likely have to give up certain activities and go without certain things in life for a while.
Ask almost anyone who has achieved financial success and was not just born into a rich family, they will surely tell you that they had to make many sacrifices. You have to determine what is essential in your life and what are just mere desires.
Knowing the difference between the two is extremely important as it will help you to make difficult decisions about your finances in the future. No matter how big the temptation or urge may be it is important not to spend compulsively and to adhere to your budget. After all, it was designed and created by you for you.
The following are some examples of the things you may not want to go without but need to for financial reasons for a while:
You need to ask yourself if this is really a necessity in your life. How much is your bill and how much do you really watch it?
You may need to limit going out for a while or at least restrict where you go or the amount of money you take with you. It is advised that you stay away from high priced places while trying to stick to a budget because these places are a set up for failure.
Going to clubs and high priced restaurants will get you nothing but an empty wallet and over-priced food that is often times over rated. Stick to places that are a bit cheaper.
Try going bowling or going out to a pool hall to play a couple games. No matter what your interest are you should be able to find something cheaper to do that will entertain you and keep you inside of the lines of your budget.
Eat At Home More
Many people do not realize how expensive it can be to eat out constantly. A few bucks a meal may not seem expensive at the time of your purchase but it definitely adds up quite quickly. You can prepare the same meals you get at restaurants in your own kitchen.
Even if you are not great at cooking you can learn. The same meal you can get from a restaurant can be prepared at home for a fraction of the price. This is beneficial for your health as well as your budget. One thing to keep in mind as well is that your health is extremely important for achieving any type of success, including financial success so eat healthy!
Cancel Unnecessary Subscriptions
A lot of people sign up for a magazine subscription or newspaper subscription with every intention of looking at them and reading them everyday.
For some people this ends up being the case but for a lot of people it ends up being the exact opposite. The magazines just sit around and collect dust or some people may still have newspapers from last year around their house.
When you think about it, wasting money on something that does nothing more than sit around and collect dust seems kind of foolish.
The money being spent on those subscriptions could go to other valuable things. Even if you do read the magazine, do you really need it? Magazines and newspapers are just a couple examples of the countless subscriptions that a person can have.
Cancel Unnecessary Memberships
Just as with subscriptions, you need to determine if certain memberships you pay for are necessary and healthy for your budget. For example, if you pay for a membership to a grocery store like Sam’s Club or Costco but have not been there in quite a while, it is probably a good idea to cancel those memberships.
Another example may be if you are in some other type of club like a car club. You may have to make the sacrifice of leaving the club and suspending your membership until you can better afford the membership fees.
These are just a few examples of the things that you may have to slow down on or cut out completely to be able to stick to your budget and achieve financial success. Nobody said that every step of the process of creating a budget would be easy.
I can guarantee you one thing though, it will be beneficial for your life in the long run. It is important to find a way to still leave yourself some joys in life while sticking to a budget.
It is as the saying goes, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. This is entirely true and working without rewards can eventually completely destroy a person’s motivation to do something. This will likely lead to you abandoning your budget entirely.
That would mean that all of the hard work and effort you put into getting this far with your budget would have been for absolutely nothing. So keep that in mind and always remember that you still need to enjoy life!
Continue Reading Part 5 to Learn: How to Keep Your Budget on Track