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How to live within your budget

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So you have set yourself a budget and want to ensure you stick to it? Here is some useful advice that you can follow to try and ensure that your budget works, and some tips to help you live with it. This might be especially appropriate for the New Year after spending too much on Christmas!
The first thing is to identify your goals and the purpose for wanting to budget. Are you saving up for something specific, or do you just want to stop spending as much as you do? Write these down, they will help to motivate you. You may want to keep a visual reminder of what it is you want somewhere. You should also set yourself some goals, how much will you save in 1 month, in 3 months, when will you have your spending under control? - Keep your goals realistic, you will still need money to live on.
Set up a budget system that works with you, and keep track of all your spending and income, whether it is in a spreadsheet or on some paper is up to you. Some people will find it easier to cut up their credit cards and use cash, some will find that the itemised bills will help to keep spending in check. Decide what works for you.
Remember to budget for entertainment, you must still have some fun, otherwise you are likely to lose interest.
Adopt a cost cutting lifestyle, some simple tips are: cook for yourself, take your own food to work, car share or cut down on unnecessary car journeys, stay away from the shops or go shopping with a frugal friend who might question your need for the purchases, use discounts where possible and shop around for the best price, try and have a no spend day once a week.
Keep looking at your goals and revise your budget regularly.
And remember to make note of all your spending and income, if you are using the wrong figures from the start you might never reach your goals.
Keep focused on your goals and don't lose your motivation.


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