5 Budget Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

When you have a working budget, you have more control over your finances. A budget is one of the best tools you have at your disposal to get control of your finances and to turn a situation around. Many people complain that budgets just do not work or that it is too hard to budget because it takes so much time or they keep making the same budgeting mistakes. There are many misconceptions about budgeting and money. It does take work, especially the first few months that you budget because there is an adjustment period. However, you can use these ideas to make sticking to a budget easier. 

1
Use Cash for Problem Categories

Hand dropping coins into wallet
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If you hate tracking your budget each day, one option you may want to consider is switching to cash for the categories where you always go over. Some common areas would be groceries, entertainment costs and clothing. Take the money out of the bank at the beginning of the month and divide it into envelopes. When the money is gone, you know you need to stop spending. If you want to look at how you spent the money just hold onto the receipts. For things like groceries, you may want to divide it even further and have an envelope for each week. This way you will not be starving the last week of the month.  More

2
Budgeting Software on Your Phone

Budgeting software makes sticking to a budget much easier. All you need to do is assign a category as you enter in the transactions. Smart phones with budgeting apps take this to a whole new level. Most programs now come with apps that will communicate with your computer program. You can enter in the transactions as you go and quickly check how much you have left in each category. This can stop you from making mistakes and is essential if you are married and both spending out of the same categories. You can really cut down on the amount of time it takes to budget by entering in transactions as you do them. More

3
Budget Meetings

Budget meetings are a great way to get your budget working. If you are married, they are a necessity. A budget meeting simply means that you look over your spending on a regular basis so you can make changes as needed. If you are single you can do this each morning or each night, and it only takes a few minutes. If you are married, you will need to schedule this each night at first and then you can move to weekly meetings. The first few months, you may feel like they are a lot more work. However, the time is worth it. As you get better at budgeting the meetings will take less time. It is important that you are aware of where your money is going and how much you have left each month. More

4
Cut Your Utility Bills

Cutting your monthly bills will make it easier to stay on budget. If you are struggling with different categories, it is important to realize that finding extra wiggle room in your budget can make a big different. Shopping for a new cell phone plan or Internet provider can help you save, but so can adjusting the thermostat. These steps will make sticking to you your budget easier. More

5
Save on Groceries

For many people a problem area is groceries. Fast food is a convenience that can add up quickly, especially since the prices keep going up. When you consider how much it would cost to make the food on your own, you nearly always come out ahead by cooking. However, it still can be difficult to save on your food budget. A menu planning service may be just the hack you need to really save on your grocery bill. The service puts together a list and provides with new recipes to cook each week. This can help you stop eating out and it makes sure your food does not go to waste.  More