After you setup your budget, staying on track not to overspent is the hardest part. For some people, it is a walk in the park, but others may find it very difficult to do.
If you are one of those who struggles keeping track where your money went, I suggest the following methods:
- Set a reminder on your phone or computer every morning about your financial goals. (i.e. debt free, or something else)
- Log into your bank, credit card, loan accounts everyday and see where you are. I know it sounds crazy, but this worked well for me as I keep getting reminded how much debt I have left – These should remind you during the day not to buy unnecessary things and focus ourselves so that we are on track with our budgets.
- Once you get used to this, there are many personal finance softwares out there that allows you to keep track your spending. It downloads the transactions straight from your online banking. You can categorize them according to your budget. I personally use Mint.com. It’s not the best, but it works for my needs.
- If you are not comfortable with online softwares, there are also apps that can be downloaded to your smartphone as well. These apps allow you to manually enter and categorize your expenses.
- Be diligent! If you are sharing your finances with your spouse, both needs to be on the same page – this is why I like Mint because my spouse can see where we are in the month.
Another thing that could be beneficial for you is to pay everything with Debit card (Or Credit card if you can control yourself!). I personally do not recommend using credit cards if you are still in debt and have a serious problem with overspending.
Debit or credit card is a great alternatives because your transaction will be recorded. This will avoid anything that you forgot to log in your budget. Many others recommend the cash envelope system. It is a great system. Simple to understand. However, some people will find this to be cumbersome and not practical in real life.
We already have too many things going on in a day. We like to make things easy. Utilizing softwares and online banking will make things go smoother in your budgeting journey. Lastly, it is important to not give up and always try for the better. Cheers!