We are almost one month into the New Year, and the holidays are long behind us. However, many people still spend excessively far beyond the holiday season and into the New Year. If you have spending habits that have gotten out of hand, 2014 is the perfect time to make a budget for yourself and stick to it. Here are some tips on getting the most from your budgeting, spending wisely, and living within your means.
Outline Your Goals and Remind Yourself of Them – By getting your spending and saving goals down on paper, it will be easier for you to stick to them. Write down monthly—or even weekly—goals of how much you see yourself saving, and then learn to stick to what you have written. You can even ask a loved one to hold you accountable.
Watch Out for Credit Cards – Credit cards may seem useful, but they can quickly become a trap. You should immediately pay off anything you put on a credit card!
Distinguish Your Needs from Your Wants – There are a lot of necessities in life, as well as many other things we can purchase that we don’t need. Learn to identify what is just a luxury from what you cannot live without. As you stabilize your budget, you can then start to make changes.
Change Some of Your Habits – If you spend a lot now, 2014 is the great time to learn to be frugal. If you have a goal to save a certain amount monthly, you may have to learn how to decline invitations or impulses to spend much more than you have.
The New Year is full of new possibilities, so why not get control of your budget? By planning ahead and sticking to that plan, you can drastically improve your outlook for the future. 2014 is the prime time to hold yourself accountable and start making changes for the better. Good luck!