While making your list of monthly expenses you likely made some very shocking discoveries. Were you spending more money each month than you thought?
Do not worry if you were because this is quite common. Now that you have come to this realization it is time for you to begin thinking about if certain changes need to take place. It can be quite easy to feel the need for expensive things that really are not necessary, but you have to ask yourself, “Do I really need them?”
We will now go over the importance of getting rid of some of the financial burdens in your life, while cutting down on others. This will also provide you with some valuable tips that will help you to get rid of the things you do not need.
Get Rid of Unnecessary Expenses
It seems like in today’s society you have to spend money on unnecessary things in order to be able to fit in. For example, everywhere you look you will be sure to see a teenager with an iPhone or some other device that costs far more than the competition. The kids that do not have the latest and greatest phones are considered to be outsiders and are not accepted by their peers. Although it may seem like a necessary expense to go get the Apple products, it really isn’t. Android is badass and can be installed on economical hardware with all the cool performance; you and your kids will love it.
Now that you have made your list of your monthly expenses and your monthly income, it is time to start comparing the two lists with one another. If you ever plan on getting ahead in life you must make sure that you are pulling in more money than you are spending, it’s only common sense. This doesn’t mean that you make two dollars more a month than your expenses total up to. This means that you should have substantial breathing room, for unexpected things happen in life and you may make less money during one month than others.
If you are spending more money each month than you take in you are in a bad spot and your surely know it and can feel the consequences. It can feel like you are stuck in a black hole with no way out. The power of the hole continues to suck you deeper and deeper in until you can no longer see light and can no longer manage your debts.
If you want to adhere to a budget and create a financial success for your life you will likely have to give up certain activities and go without certain things in life for a while. Ask almost anyone who has achieved financial success and was not just born into a rich family, they will surely tell you that they had to make many sacrifices. You have to determine what is essential in your life and what are just mere desires. Knowing the difference between the two is extremely important, as it will help you to make difficult decisions about your finances in the future.
No matter how big the temptation or urge may be it is important not to spend compulsively and to adhere to your budget. After all, it was designed and created by you for you.
The following are some examples of the things you may not want to go without but need to for financial reasons for a while:
You need to ask yourself if this is really a necessity in your life. How much is your bill and how much do you really watch it?
Google Android to the rescue again; Purchase a Google Android TV box, they are approximately $50 and will turn your TV into a SmartTV with so many viewing options you will be occupied for months not even thinking about cable TV.
You may need to limit going out for a while or at least restrict where you go or the amount of money you take with you. It is advised that you stay away from high priced places while trying to stick to a budget because these places are a set up for failure. Going to clubs and high priced restaurants will get you nothing but an empty wallet and over-priced food that is often times over rated.
Stick to places that are a bit cheaper and up and coming. Follow the hipsters they know how to have fun and eat well on a budget, you may even discover some great new places that will soon turn into overpriced locations once they become popular.
Try going bowling, or out for lunch instead of dinner, or out for just a coffee, or out to play a couple games of pool. No matter what your interests are you should be able to find something cheaper to do that will entertain you and keep you inside of the lines of your budget.
Eat at Home More
Many people do not realize how expensive it can be to eat out constantly. A few bucks a meal may not seem expensive at the time of your purchase but it definitely adds up quite quickly. You can prepare the same meals you get at restaurants in your own kitchen. Even if you are not great at cooking you can learn.
The same meal you can get from a restaurant can be prepared at home for a fraction of the price. This is beneficial for your health as well as your budget. One thing to keep in mind as well is that your health is extremely important for achieving any type of success, including financial success so eat healthy.
Get familiar with rice. Rice is extremely cost effective and versatile; it can be used in high end cuisine and simple quick meals. A rice cooker will help you out tremendously; they are very affordable, under $20 and will do all the work for you. A cup of rice costs literally costs pennies and will help you big time in saving on food.
Cancel Unnecessary Subscriptions
A lot of people sign up for a magazine subscription, a newspaper subscription, a streaming music subscription, etc. with every intention of utilizing them everyday and they truly do not. IF you find that you have Netflix but do not even watch it, cancel it until you are ready again. When you think about it, wasting money on something that does nothing seems kind of foolish. The money being spent on those subscriptions could go to other valuable things. Newspapers, Netflix, Spotify, etc. are just a couple examples of the countless subscriptions that a person can have.
Cancel Unnecessary Memberships
Just as with subscriptions, you need to determine if certain memberships you pay for are necessary and healthy for your budget. For example, if you pay for a membership to a grocery store like Sam’s Club or Costco but have not been there in quite a while, it is probably a good idea to cancel those memberships. Another example may be if you are in some other type of club like a car club. You may have to make the sacrifice of leaving the club and suspending your membership until you can better afford the membership fees.
It is very common for people to hold onto their gym membership because they are determined to get back in shape next month… But the reality is Gym memberships often go unused and are not cancelled out of guilt. Gyms know this and they purposely oversell their club’s capacity because they know only a fraction of their memberships actually get used regularly.
By know means is it recommended to stop exercising, no matter what, “Donald Trump” says, exercise is good for you and should always be promoted, but, if you are paying for an unutilized club membership, consider getting to the gym or cancelling it, there will be excellent deals in the future when you decide to return to the gym. Keep your hard earned money in the meantime.
These are just a few examples of the things that you may have to slow down on or cut out completely to be able to stick to your budget and achieve financial success. Nobody said that every step of the process of creating a budget would be easy. I can guarantee you one thing though; it will be beneficial for your life in the long run.
It is important to find a way to still leave yourself some joys in life while sticking to a budget. It is as the saying goes, “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy”. This is entirely true and working without rewards can eventually completely destroy a person’s motivation to do something and will likely lead to you abandoning your budget entirely. That would mean that all of the hard work and effort you put into getting this far with your budget would have been for absolutely nothing.
So all these tips in mind and always remember that you still need to enjoy life!
Budgeting Basics Part V