Add a Little Sunshine to Your Budget

Posted by Kevin Nielsen on Jan 17, 2017 12:49:07 PM

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Not to rain on your budget, but it could be so much sunnier. We all spend too much one way or another. Invite a little sunshine into your finances by reducing your expenses.

Hitting your goal for the month has a lot of moving parts that depend on what you’re wanting to accomplish and your individual needs. Some people can get there by reducing their spending, other people just need to make some behavior changes to avoid certain purchases, and others have a a little of everything to get rid of before feeling comfortable with their spending habits. 

At the end of the month, your budget can bring a smile to your face and not clouds of disappointment or stress.

Categorically Reduce

One way to find more money than just a couple bucks is to categorically reduce your expenses. That means going through your monthly and periodic bills and seeing how much you can possibly save. Subscriptions can be canceled. Insurance can be shopped for at a better price. Cords can be cut to save on entertainment. Sweaters can be worn to save on energy.

Sort through your transactions to find ways to cut, change or reduce your spending and figure out what you can't go without and what you can get rid of this month. 

Ask Meaningful Questions

Ask yourself, “Is spending this much on that thing worth waiting to achieve my goal that much longer?”

The math will be different for each expense, but having a small savings goal can put that money into perspective very easily. Is eating out three times a week instead of one worth waiting an extra two or three months to take a vacation?

girl-blowing-blowballdandelion-picjumbo-com.jpgIt at least frames the real question instead of making each decision in a vacuum of should I eat out or not?

Get Tough

There are plenty of ideas for cutting back, it just depends on your situation. At times, it can help to be aggressive in finding ways to cut back.

Set goals you think you can’t reach or goals that make you feel uneasy about being able to reach. At the very least, you’ll find out what categories are easy for you to cut and which ones you’ll have to keep working on to find the right fix, but imagine if you can meet that larger goal. How much sunnier will your budget look at the end of the month?

Steps:

  1. Sort all your transactions for clues as to where you're spending extra.
  2. Check recurring bills for ways to reduce cost or eliminate them altogether.
  3. Ditch specific discretionary spending in order to further reduce your spending.

Challenge:

Find 5% to cut from your budget, either now or by the start of next month.

Set up your budget and start eliminating your extra spending now with Mvelopes

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Topics: Budget