We all know that it can be a challenge

How to Stick to Your Budget

by Terry Rigg

I've had a lot of people tell me that setting up their budget was simple, but when it came to living by it payday after payday, they admitted losing interest in a very short time.

Let's face it. The day to day drudgery of trying to figure out how to best spend your money isn't the most interesting aspect of our lives.

Let me see if I can make the budget process a little more appealing to you. I don't have any magic or secret process to tell you about, but I do have a method that will show you why a budget doesn't have to be boring. I can do this with one word: Goals

When we think of goals, most of us look far into the future to our retirement. That's the problem. It's hard to imagine when you're 20 what you will need when you are 65.

Accomplishing your goals doesn't have to take a lifetime. Even when it does, you can set milestones along the way to break it up and get a sense of accomplishment much earlier.

How to Stick to Your Budget

If you have problems staying on a budget, try setting some short-term goals. We can start with an easy one. Try to save $100 without missing it.

Unless you have no income at all, this is easy. Don't spend any coins for any reason. If you buy something for 25 cents, break a dollar. Then all you have to do is put the change out of your pocket or purse in a jar every day.

This sounds simple enough and you've probably heard about saving change before. If you are a skeptic like I was, you probably think that this isn't going to lead to any real savings at all.

Let's get back to that $100 I was talking about. How long do you think it would take you to save enough change to equal $100. 6 months? 1 year?

The fact is that the average person can save $100 in less than three months. In some cases even sooner. That's not very long to accomplish a goal.

Start saving for your future today. Consider these 11 ways to save $1000 while living paycheck to paycheck.

Now let's look at setting milestones using the same method. Roll your change once a month to see how close you are to your goal. Write down how much you saved that month on a piece of paper and put that and your rolled change back in the jar. Keep doing this until you've reached your $100 goal.

Now, what do you do with that $100? You could put it in a savings account and earn a little interest, but it still wouldn't be worth much more than $100 even after a year.

My suggestion would be to pay it on one of your credit cards. That way you could turn that $100 into much more with the interest you would save.

Use these guidelines to choose the best plan to pay off your credit card balances.

It may sound like I strayed from the topic of this article by talking about saving your change. Actually a budget is just a system of reaching goals. You do this by working backwards. You decide what it is you want to do and then make all of your money decisions based on that end.

Setting up and maintaining a budget is going to take organization and discipline. This task will be much easier if you are working toward something you really want.

Reviewed December 2017

Take the Next Step

  • Find a container and start saving all those coins. You can do it!
  • Start saving for your future today. Consider these 11 ways to save $1000 while living paycheck to paycheck.
  • Consider why you may need a spending plan instead of a budget.
  • Get the interest you deserve! Compare money market and savings account rates with our best rate finder. It only takes a minute and your privacy is completely protected.
  • Get control of your financial life. Subscribe to Financial Independence, a free daily email that provides you with the tools to help you gain that control and achieve financial independence. Subscribers get a copy of Are You Heading for Debt Trouble? A Simple Checklist for FREE!

Share your thoughts about this article with the editor.

Debt Book
Stay Connected with TDS

Do you struggle to get ahead financially?

Surviving Tough Times is a weekly newsletter aimed at helping you stretch your dollars and make the most of your resources.

Debt Checklist

And get a copy of Are You Heading for Debt Trouble?
A Simple Checklist and What You Can Do About It
for FREE!

Your Email:

View the TDS Privacy Policy.

Debt Book