There can be a tricky point in your life when your income is not enough to afford you to go anywhere and buy anything you want but enough to make mindless spendings.
In the era of advanced marketing techniques, consumerism, and stress associated with rapid development in each area, people tend to spend their money on many invaluable things. The latter can even include the food and activities that have a negative impact on one’s lifestyle despite the availability of healthy and beneficial alternatives.
Counting each dollar can be quite stressful and not always advantageous for your health. However, for instance, if you buy fresh products and make the dish from scratch instead of ordering a fancy salad, it will benefit you in many ways. Look at the positives.
Today, delivery websites often write detailed lists of ingredients for their dishes. So, first of all, you will learn a new recipe. Second, you will get distracted from the daily routine. Third, you’ll have a healthier meal.
Another example is about addressing a professional essay writing service that can handle your written task while you have some rest or do something more urgent. Avoiding stress is about prioritizing and choosing the correct techniques. So, check out some of the latter to simplify your life.
Track Your Spendings
You do not need to hire an accountant to do this. Neither do you have to become one. Today, there are plenty of apps that help get an overview of what happens to your budget each day, month, and year. If you barely use cash, you probably have a banking app, and many of those have an in-built tracker.
As you use it or a side app, you might realize that quite a lot of money is mainly wasted on non-essential stuff like taking a cab every now and then, buying every second item you see in ads, or ordering delivery services. It’s not a reason to blame yourself but to make some actions that will promote your financial literacy.
Sometimes, it’s enough to do one practical exercise. To see how much you can save up, have an experimental month of rational spendings.
If you have enough clothes for now and there’s nothing urgent, bookmark that ad with a nice t-shirt. You can buy it later, let’s say when the experiment is over. Or, better, when a couple of your t-shirts will be bad enough to get rid of them.
This is actually an additional trick for those who tend to make impulsive purchases. Bookmark the item in your browser or an app. The rule of forgotten bookmarked stuff should work here as well.
So, as the experiment is over, look at the money you have stored. Do you still want another t-shirt or maybe there’s a more necessary thing you have wanted for so long and can afford now?
Even if you have to spend it on something urgent, it’s actually okay because now, there are funds for an emergency repair, for example. You’re not broke because of impulsive buying.
Plan Major and Regular Spendings
Everyone has their own list of things they need to pay for each month. Such lists include but are not limited to:
- utility bills;
- the internet connection and mobile communications;
- subscriptions (e.g. to streaming services);
- software license;
If you deduct this sum from the very start and put away that money (or set a limit on your card), you will see how much you have in fact. It gives a clearer picture in contrast to the situation when you have the whole salary at your disposal. It may remind you of a bottomless well up until the moment you have to make a major payment.
However tempting you may find buying a pretty useless thing in an online shop, think about the perks of not doing that. Look at your monthly spendings in this area and think about what you could do with that money. You can add here the sum spent on food delivery or cafes as well.
If the total amount is enough to feed another person for a week or so, consider writing out a budget plan. What if you need some money to pay for health insurance or a regular check-up you forgot about? Or, maybe, you’ve always dreamt about trying skydiving. Is this experience worth the same amount of money as eating out a couple of times?
The bad habit of buying another item from an advertisement or junk food in bright packages marketers have prepared for you can be also dealt with. Of course, you can’t deem it a bad habit if you buy a chocolate bar once a week.
This is about regular and impulsive purchases you can barely notice. Try to control those ‘bad’ spendings, set a rule. For instance, if you buy another cool notebook while having several others you didn’t ever use, set aside 50% of the purchase. That sum should stay untouchable. Consider it gone.
Later, you can reward yourself for patience and spend a small part of the saved up sum on some senseless stuff if you still want it. In the end, you may actually look at the money you stored and realize that you don’t want to use it for now. Or, you might multiply it by several times and come up with the idea of having a mini-vacation just by saving up the same amount for 3-4 months more.
Set Your Daily Budget
By doing so you will be able to set the limits per day. You can spend less money today to purchase something significant tomorrow. It’s similar to saving up as described above but much easier.
There shouldn’t be anything tough about purchasing essential things only if tomorrow, you can reward yourself. Meanwhile, it’s much harder to put away some money for a longer period of time and not spend it.
This is not actually about budgeting but more about the additional source of income. All of us have stuff we don’t use anymore. Some of it includes the things we have once bought for no important reason. But somebody may still need it.
Go through the shelves you rarely peek into. There can be a lot of things you haven’t used for so long that you forgot you owned them. Just sell them if they are worth something. That way, you will declutter your space and benefit from it financially as well.
As mentioned at the beginning, budgeting isn’t stressful if you prioritize and resort to correct techniques. Mindless purchases actually inflict more stress on you as later, you may only regret buying something as you need money for an emergency.
So, plan your budget wisely. You may even read some books about financial literacy if you’re ready to go that far. If not, stick to the list above.