How a Budget Is Like a Fitness Tracker

budgt-diet.jpg
Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

 Fitness apps and calorie trackers, like Calorie Count, are a great resource to help you get control of your weight. It’s a simple matter of tracking your outgo (exercise and calories burned) and your intake (calories eaten). It helps you stay on top of reaching your fitness, goals, and lets you know if you need to exercise a bit more, or stop eating after a certain meal. A budget is very similar to one of these apps for your spending and financial goals.

Your budget can help you gain control of your financial picture and start to make real changes to your situation.

Track Your Spending

Tracking your spending is just like counting the calories that you eat. It lets you know when you are nearing your limits, so that you can stop or cut back. It also lets you know where you are spending your money, much like an app can show you the types of food that you are eating. It can make a big difference in how you spend, where you spend and the way that you limit spending. If you want help with this, you have two options, you can get an app that you can use on your phone to track your budget like YNAB or you can switch to cash and use the envelope method so that you know when you are reaching your limits.

Increasing Your Income

A budget can also let you know when you need to increase the amount that you earn. Just like you can increase the number of calories you can eat by adding exercise, you can increase the amount that you make to help you reach your goals more quickly.

It may be that you have a short-term goal where you need to raise cash quickly, or you may realize that you need to do something to improve your income over time. A budget can help you recognize the signs that you do not make enough money each month. Then you need to take the steps to rectify the situation.

Making It Work

Just like with a diet, if you are not tracking what you are doing, then your budget is not going to work for you. It is so important that you have your plan in mind, with your specific monetary goals in mind. This gives you a good starting point. Then find a method that works for you. A phone app is one of the easiest ways to do this, because you can enter spending when it happens, and you will always be up-to-date on where you are with your spending limits and savings goals.

Finding Support

Another key factor to making your diet work is finding support from your family and friends. You can find the same support for your financial goals. Often though, people do not talk about finances, since it is a bit taboo. You can still get support without getting too personal. Look online for encouragement or just tell your friends your goal without a monetary amount attached. Most good friends will be supportive if you are trying to cut back on spending to save up for a home or to get out of debt.

Celebrate Your Accomplishments

When you take control of your finances, you are changing the way that you live your life. It can be as major of a change as going from a junk food only diet to eating green or going vegan.

It takes a lot of work and you should celebrate your milestones as you reach them. You can measure your success by creating a visual chart or just listing the things you will do to celebrate as you reach each goal.