Get Your Budget on Track

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It’s summertime and I don’t know about you but family vacations, weekend fun and being lazy by the pool sound so much more fun than keeping up with your budget.  However, you can quickly derail your summer memories with poor budgeting choices and overspending.  So I’m sharing with you my 4 quick tips to get your budget on track so you can enjoy the rest of these warm days.

Track Your Spending

I’ve shared the easiest way to keep track of your spending that doesn’t require anything more than an envelope and pen.  It’s so simple to know exactly how much you have left in your grocery budget before the weekend comes or how much you have remaining in your fun money.  By using an easy method to know what’s left then you won’t be scratching your head at the end of the month wondering where are your money went.

Use Cash

If you’re having trouble keeping with your budget and find yourself a little too swipe-happy then put away those cards.  Keep your debit and credit cards at home during the week and weekends.  Start using only cash for dinner out, the movies and groceries.  This will help you stay focused.  Once your cash is gone, it’s gone.  No more overspending or assuming you have $5 left in your budget for the week.   Cold hard cash won’t lie to you and make you feel better about your impulse buys.

Set Payments to Auto Draft

This is one of my favorite and it’s the most easiest ways to stay on track.  If you can set it to automatically come out of your account then do it!  Now when you’re out by the pool you won’t be worried about whether or not you mailed in your car payment.  It’s already done and it won’t be late.  I recommend setting your mortgage, car payment, insurance, utilities (if able), school loans, credit card payments, personal loans, store cards, internet, and cell phone bills to automatic payments.  Not only will you save time, but you will also save money.  If you have to mail in each of those payments listed then you would be spending close to $5 (more if you have more than one credit card, car loan, etc.) each month that isn’t even making a dent in your debt.  That’s close to $60 a year, which could be a good payment on a debt.

Do A Spending Freeze

A great way to get your budget back on track is to do a spending freeze.  It’s probably the easiest way to do a quick reboot of your budget.  It puts you and your budget into perspective because you aren’t able to do any of those impulse buys or fast food drive-thru runs.  

Need More Help?

If you’re looking for a great tool to help keep your family on budget, then check out out my budget spreadsheet.  Each month is laid out right in front of you where you can keep track of what you budget and what you actually spend. Now you’ll know in real time how you’re doing each month.


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Meredith Rines, a budget and financial strategist helping fans pay off debt and live the life they've always wanted.

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