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Ah, the good ol’ issue of not sticking to your monthly budget. Needless to say, we’ve all been there. As if our everyday motto was: good in theory, bad in practice! It’s all the same with most of our plans and ideas. Most of them sound so good right until we try to implement ’em.

Of course, there’s no need to be overly pessimistic or somethin’. Instead, it’s better to figure out how can we improve our money-saving skills. Since you’re reading this text, you’re already doing something about it. We’ll show you how to make a monthly budget plan and actually stick to it!

Why should you stick to your budget in the first place?

Here’s another question for an answer: why make a budget when you won’t stick to it? A monthly budget can help you introduce some order to your finances. There ain’t a better way to gain some control over them. You’ll want to show ’em who’s in charge! However, just detailing what you need to do isn’t gonna do the trick.

Most of the time, sticking to your budget ain’t something you’d call an easy task. Still, you should try to avoid not playing by the rulebook. The so-called rulebook is, of course, your monthly spending planner. There’s no point in making one if you can’t stick to it! 

Keep in mind that making a budget will help you reach your goals and objectives! In other words: always know what you’re sacrificing certain spending habits for!

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How to make a monthly budget plan?

Here we give you some general tips on how to make a monthly spending plan. Afterward, we’ll show you how to stick to it!

Calculate your monthly earnings

The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out just how much money are you making each month. You’ll do this because you want to ensure your spending plan doesn’t go above your monthly income. As one can assume, it’s strongly recommended you avoid going into (long-term) debt. Here’s how should the calculation look like:

  • include consistent sources of income (most notably: your paycheck).
  • exclude less consistent sources of income (selling old stuff, freelance gigs, etc.). 
  • calculate your income using only your net income (take-home pay). 

Track your spending habits

It’s definitely one of the best methods to determine how much should you budget for. Track your spending by using a categorize-my-spending kind of app. Alternatively, use the manual approach: save your monthly receipts and calculate them later. Do this for a few months, just so you get a more objective idea of your spending habits.

This way, you’ll find out how much you’re spending on different categories. It will prepare you for the next step in the process.

What are your spending priorities?

Once you’ve tracked your spending over the course of a couple of months, it’s time for the next step. Take a good look at your spending history and see if it aligns well with your financial properties. If you notice you’re spending way too much money on non-essentials… Yeah, that’s a good sign you need to take better control over your spending. Non-essentials are basically all items that aren’t rent, food, and bills.

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We’re not saying one should become an ascetic, spending money only on essentials. The thing is: most folks have a hard time around the end of the month. That’s probably because they’ve had one too many takeout dinners or something similar. Or maybe you’re buying clothes online on an unprecedented shopping spree? Whatever’s the case – know that you’re the one in charge!

A friendly suggestion: 50/30/20 budget rule

We’ve got a monthly budget plan design idea to share with you. It goes something like this:

  • 50% of your earnings should be spent on so-called needs. It’s just another word for essentials.
  • 30% of your income should go on wants. Online shopping sprees, and so on.
  • 20% of your monthly salary should go find its way into your savings account.

It’s just a modest proposal that seems to be working for many people. It surely won’t hurt you to give it a shot!

Redefine your plan if needed

Needless to say, a monthly budget plan is something pretty prone to change. In other words: budgets aren’t set in stone. You’ll want to sit down every six months or so and see how well you’re sticking to your budget. If your habits or income change, feel free to redefine your monthly budget plan.

Okay, so now we’ve given you a how-make-a-monthly-budget overview. That being said, it’s time to check out the other question in the title of this text. How to stick to your monthly budget plan?

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A woman in a dress holding a pink piggy bank.

How to stick to your monthly budget plan?

The first part’s over! The worst is yet to begin! We’re only kidding, relax! With the right info, you’ll have no trouble sticking to your monthly budget! Here are some tips you’ll find pretty useful.

Challenge yourself with a spending freeze

The title’s pretty self-explanatory! Try not to spend money on anything that’s now on the essentials list. If it’s not a necessity, avoid buying it! You can prolong this challenge as much as you want. Whether it’s a whole week, month, or even, a year – it really doesn’t matter!

You’ll want to know that this is one of the best ways folks can control their spending. There’s something magical about it! This practice helps most people change their mindset around finances. Also, you can make it fun if you challenge your friends or family to try the same!

The thing about meals

Here’s one of the best tips to reach financial bliss: plan your meals! Even though dining out every second day seems like a tasty idea, you should avoid it! Before Monday knocks on your front door, make sure you’ve planned out what you’re eating on Friday. In other words: plan out the meals for the whole week that’s ahead of ya! Write out a grocery list and do a one-week-worth-of-food shopping!

One more thing: not only will you save some funds, but you’ll also eat healthier! Find some fun-to-make, yet healthy dish recipes online!

No! Not now! and how to learn to say it

As it’s implied in one of the paragraphs above, learning how to say no to shopping is not easy. We’re talking about non-essentials here. Anyway, even if all your social media friends are sporting this or that… Yeah, you don’t have to go ahead and buy the thing.

Nowadays, people are way too fascinated with consumer goods. Some of them are pretty useful; we’re not trying to diss ’em all. However, it’s best you start appreciating all the costless things in life. Financially speaking, that is. Learning how to say no to various money-wasting temptations is a good part of being an adult person.

All in all: those sunglasses or whatever object of desire are we talking about can wait. You don’t have to instantly waste 1/3 of your salary on it. Once you save some money (using the 50/30/20 method), it might be time to treat yourself!

Do away with the credit card

There’s no need to emphasize the following fact. A credit card doesn’t really assist you in the whole sticking-to-your-budget process. Quite the contrary! It can only motivate you to spend even more! Delaying the payment only seems like a good option at first; you’re bound to regret it soon.

Auto draft to the rescue

Here’s one of the most convenient solutions on this list. You’ll want to create automatic bank drafts! It means some of your bills and savings are paid directly out of your paycheck. That way, you won’t have to worry about giving those sums another purpose.

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It sounds kinda childish, saving your hard-earned money from yourself and all that. Still, it’s always good to set some boundaries for yourself in this manner.

Shopping alone/online?

Yeah, it sounds like that famous book about loneliness… Still, we’re nowhere near suggesting you alienate yourself from your peers. Actually, this is a tip directed at family-oriented folks. If you’re in charge of doing the weekly/monthly shopping, do it without sidekicks! Or, even better, do your shopping for regular household items online. 

Why go alone? Well, you’re bound to hear some special requests if someone chooses to tag along. Also, by shopping online – you’ll resist certain supermarket-row temptations yourself. 

That’s about it for the how-to on sticking to your budget. We’ll use the occasion and reward your patience with a bonus round of tips!

Bonus tip: Earn some money on the side

While you’re trying to save some money, why not earn a bit? There are many side gigs you can do to earn a little cash online. For instance, taking part in online surveys is an easy & fun way to earn some extra funds. Not to mention all the opportunities that await you on various freelance platforms.

Final thoughts

Okay, so that’s that! Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed reading this piece concerning the monthly budget issue! Now you see it doesn’t have to be an issue at all! With the right palette of tips, you’ll be totally fine!

For more interesting info and tips, make sure to visit our blog page.

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