A task that I find myself repeating often is attempting to organize and budget my money. I fill my planner with quotes like “No spending money this week on fast food and clothes!” Then, by the end of the week, I have 2 new shirts and about 9 empty Starbucks cups. I feel so fed up with the fact I simply have no willpower!
So then I thought. Maybe my goals weren’t realistic? I work in 2 malls, of course there will be times when I eat fast food. And, if I don’t put myself in a position to spend money, then I clearly won’t spend money! So I broke out my planner, started a new page, and redid my finance goals until the end of April.
To create a smart budget, I personally think that instead of ‘not allowing’ yourself something, you need to realistically understand you will buy something, and set aside the appropriate worth. So instead of saying ‘no going out to eat this month,’ budget yourself $50 for the month for all food costs, outside the home. If you don’t spend the money, that’s awesome. If you do, then at least you weighed out all your money to support that.
For me, spending my money on clothes I didn’t need was a huge issue. I had absolutely no willpower when it came to telling myself that I didn’t need those 2 new pairs of flats with the studded lion head, in teal and black. To my defence, I did love them all season & they were on sale.. So I figured the best thing I could do was stay out of the situations where I would be spending said money. Which is somewhat hard, working in popular retail stores does make me see a thousand outfits I could see myself wearing. But, I figured it’s time to buckle down and take my credit card away from the malls!
By placing small amounts of a paycheque away, you slowly can create a savings that can be used for literally anything later on. Personally, I created a budget to place $200-300 away every 2 weeks. Depending on how much you’re making, or if there’s something particular you’re wanting to save up for, you can adjust your amounts however. After time, and not spending your saving, you’ll be happily surprised (and accomplished) with how you did.
Creating realistic goals is something of trial and error. You can’t go into a situation planning on spending no money! Always try to over budget, as well, because if you’re giving yourself $75 a month for entertainment, when you’d normally only spend $40, you’ve just basically earned another $35 by the end of that month. Create different goals for yourself to see what works for you!