Thinking and doing are two different things. Sure, it may be easy to come up with a budget plan—you simply divide your monthly income into bills, savings, and everything else that needs to get paid. However, sticking to that budget is the real litmus test.
Budgeting comes at the core of financial planning. Everyone may start with good intentions. But halfway through, a lot of us seem to get derailed and spend more than we should.
To maintain a successful budgeting plan, here are five steps you can rely on:
1. Create long-term and short-term budget plans.
Normally, we create our budget plans every month, since we base that on our monthly salary. We automatically deduct the payment for rent, utility bills, phone bills, etc. While it is a good idea to create short-term plans, it is also good to also have long-term budget plans.
Long-term budget plans include goals that you want to achieve within the year. This could be an overseas travel, investing on a business, or what have you. This budget plan will most likely help you stop spending too much every month, since you have something planned within the year.
2. Keep realistic projections.
One of the reasons why budget plans fail is because people aim for unrealistic expectations. They become discouraged for not meeting those goals.
One tip is to set goals that challenge you but are realistic. Start small. Meet those small goals every month, and then gradually increase your goals. This will help you create a more manageable budget plan.
3. Manage your debts.
Debts are always a big thorn on everyone’s sides. Commit to paying off your debts every month, so you’ll have more flexibility with your money in the future.
4. Stay motivated.
Motivation is one of the things that you need to keep up with budgeting plans. The idea is to keep the excitement for you to continue reaching your goals. You can do this by:
· Keeping a positive attitude. Don’t think of budgeting as a chore. Think of it as a means to get what you want—getting out of debt, saving money for a new gadget, or investing for your child’s education.
· Rewarding yourself. Find something that you really enjoy—your favorite food, clothes, a weekend getaway. When you reach each of your goals, treat yourself to these rewards.
5. Additional tips
Here are a few more tips that can help you achieve your budget goals:
· Earn extra cash. A few hundred bucks here and there will help beef up your savings or pay off your debts. Make sure, however, that you manage your time well when you commit to a side project.
· Consider the benefits of debts. Debts are not all bad. You can use loans to finance your schooling or use as capital investment for a business venture.
Budgeting is not something that should cause your more stress. Think of it as a way to manage your money wisely, so you can have more fun in the future.
About the Author: Elston Marcelo is a Marketing Consultant
Follow him at twitter @SamariaKurt