Saving money can be a tough topic. This post will offer some tips to get in control of your personal finances and live on a budget. I don’t know about you but when I was a child my parents told me to save my money, but it was always hard to see the value of money until I was older.
Living on a budget
More working class people, students, and families must live on a budget. This means setting realistic goals for spending and saving. Here are some tips to live on a budget.
Prioritize Your Life
Simply go through the areas in your life and consider what you are spending your money on. You are not alone, many Canadians spend large amounts of money in areas that are not a priority. Whether it’s a nice home, good food, or the latest and greatest technology, you just have to decide what really matters to you and what you can live without. With this tool, we want to balance the cost of comfort items with necessary expenses in a sustainable way.
Find and Use Budgeting Tools
I am a very visual person so if I don’t see the total cost of my habits, I will assume it is not that bad. This is why I personally use a monthly budget planner on Microsoft Excel. They provide a good template to plug all expenses in and track spending habits.
The power of budgeting tools can help you too! There are many great programs and apps to help with finances (even ones that link to your bank account). Having online money management tools allows anyone to track everything from credit cards, to bank accounts, to investments, all in one place.
Eat at Home
Canadians spend so much money on dining and fast food every year. It is a multi-billion dollar industry and banks entice you by offering points on restaurant purchases. Eating out often costs more than cooking at home.
Although that grocery store routine can get tedious, and buying ingredients seems like a waste of time – it pays to do so. Coupons and in store sales can help offset the cost and preparing a meal is such a rewarding feeling. However, simply throwing your hard earned dollars on cheap (and might I add unhealthy) food will set you back on your journey to financial freedom.
Finance can be fun
I have had the somewhat pleasure of working for a bank for the last two years. Although I may not be an expert I can definitely tell you that the benefits of building a savings far outweigh the cost of living frugally.
Beware of budget burnout. Whether you’re used to having large amounts of disposable income, or you are familiar with the “struggle”, the kind of fatigue that over whelms us about money can strike at anyone who is trying to be more conscientious about limiting unnecessary purchases. I suggest picking up some easy finance books if you’re just beginning. Authors on the topic make it fun to save in a manner anyone can understand.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more Urban Guides.
Cover Photo from Unsplash by: Vitaly