Many consumers (and experts) fail to see budgeting as a creative endeavor, and that is a big shame. I have always seen the colors in others? black and white budgets. Hopefully, you can use the following creative ideas to stick to your own spending plan.
1. Make it a game
Every year, I make a list of all of my recurring expenses and challenge myself to cut every single one. Usually that means taking an annual look at cell phone options, insurance packages, mortgage rates, etc. I?m usually able to shave at least a few hundred dollars out of the budget by just paying attention. To motivate myself, I never think of these slashed recurring expenses as a one-time savings success – I calculate it out by the year, decade, etc ? and it makes me feel like a budgeting rock star.
2. Use technology tools
I?m so glad that I?m a frugal person in the age of the internet, because savings opportunities are so abundant with online tools. Whenever I need to replace an appliance, I hit up craigslist.com, instead of an appliance store. When I need to check on my budget, I go over to mint.com, instead of a pile of un-entered receipts. There are also plenty of opportunities online to make extra money. eBay?s smart phone app makes selling your unwanted stuff easier than ever.?
3. Go Weekly (or daily in the beginning)?
Budgeting has traditionally been characterized as a monthly activity. To make a budget extra sticky, you need to actively track and monitor on a weekly, or daily basis, if possible.? Think about it: all of the discretionary temptations that cause detours in your spending, like deals, offers, peer pressure, impulse buys, etc. don?t stop just because you are on a budget. You need to remind yourself frequently what your goals are and see how you are doing. Keeping your goals top-of-mind will help. Set up trigger alerts for yourself with a budgeting app to stay informed and motivated.
4. Find a support group
Whether it?s family and friends or fellow goal-setters in an online forum, finding a support group is a good way to stick to your spending plan goals. When I?m saving for a specific goal, or working hard to cut out some bad money habits, I hit up online saving forums big-time. Reading blogs like Planting Money Seeds helps too! You?ve got to keep your mind fed and focused.