Are you ever in a situation where you feel tempted to break your budget? Maybe it’s dinner out with friends or shopping at a store you haven’t been to in a while. Even though you’re on a budget, can it really hurt to buy something you like or order a more expensive entrée to treat yourself?
All of these treats can and do add up quickly. Money expert Dave Ramsey shared his recommendation on X, formerly known as Twitter, to stay away from people and places where you feel tempted to break your budget.
“It’s human nature to want it and want it now. It’s also a sign of immaturity. Maturity is being willing to delay pleasure to ensure a better tomorrow,” Ramsey tweeted.
What if you’re having a hard time sticking to your budget? Follow these eight tips to stay on your spending plan.
1. Be Realistic
A strict budget that gives you no breathing room is not going to be a budget you’ll follow long-term. A post on Ramsey Solutions recommends being realistic when setting every single line in your budget. This helps you to better stick to the budget and reach your financial goals.
2. Automate Payments
The more aspects of your money you are able to automate, like saving for retirement and paying bills, the less money there will be available for you to spend on things you don’t really need.
3. Meal Plan
Instead of wondering what you’ll have for breakfast, lunch and dinner and eating out, create a weekly meal plan and shop for groceries accordingly.
4. Think About Your Weekly Spending
To help spread out your spending, the post on Ramsey Solutions recommends breaking some of your budget lines into weekly portions. If your personal spending budget is $300, consider breaking it down to $75 each week.
5. Review Your Social Calendar
What special days and events are coming up in your social life? You can start budgeting for these now to keep from overspending and stick to your budget without being surprised by the bill afterwards.
6. Defend Your Budget
It takes a lot of hard work and willpower to stick to a budget. Sometimes you’ll need to say “no” to buying something impulsive or expensive because it’s not in your budget. And that’s okay.
7. Don’t Use a Credit Card
Choosing not to use a credit card means giving yourself fewer opportunities to spend outside your means. The post on Ramsey Solutions recommends using cash or a debit card when paying for items you need.
8. Get an Accountability Partner
You don’t have to budget alone. Find a close friend, partner or family member who will call you out when you’re not sticking to a budget and encourage you to keep going.
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