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How to stick to a budget

To stay in good financial health, sticking to a budget is important. Here’s some advice on how to make your budget work for you.

Couple discussing finances

You can make budgets all you want, but sticking to them is what’s important. But to be able to stick to it, you have to make a budget that works for you, one you can put into use when it comes to day-to-day life. Here are some ways to make it easier to follow your budget.

Plan for ways to make it easy to keep to your budget

You can’t simply decide to never eat out at restaurants and expect to keep this promise to yourself. But it’ll be much easier to eat at home if you have ways that make this choice more enticing. Perhaps you can plan to try your hand at creating the dish you love to have at your regular dinner spot. You’ll get a bit of entertainment from cooking, and you’ll take pleasure in knowing you’ll be eating a similar dish. Or if you like to dine out because that’s when you see friends, plan to have everyone over so you still get time with your besties.

Don’t make your budget too rigid — include things you enjoy

If you don’t allow yourself some pleasures, you’ll feel completely deprived. Using the dinner example from above, include in your budget a plan to have dinner at your favourite restaurant once a month rather than the weekly visit you’ve been enjoying. This is a much more realistic approach.

Re-evaluate your budget to make sure it’s working

If you’ve made a budget and haven’t been able to stick to it, don’t give up. Revisit your budget regularly and see what adjustments you can make so that it is more realistic and allows you to live your life while also meeting your financial goals.

Have a goal or several goals for your budget

So that you don’t feel you’re budgeting just for the sake of budgeting, have a major goal or two in mind. Whether you’re trying to save for a house, pay off your debt or make a major purchase, keep a running tally so you’re always tapped into how well you’re progressing toward your goal. This will provide better motivation to adhere to your budget.

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