Being savvy with your money is more than budgeting which, in turn, is more than ‘just’ putting money aside for expenses. Those that know how to budget have a way of handling their money aside from watching how they spend it – savvy people often have things planned way in advance – this includes repayments of any online personal loans they may have taken out.

Money and Finances

Many people quit budgeting plans though, which are not always easy to start with when things go wrong. Other people give up after a month or so of tracking expenditure. There have to be simpler methods to track things, right? Here are 10 simple things to remember…

1 Think strategically

Think about it – what is the point of a budget? When planning a budget, keep in mind that the idea is to keep you from being in debt. The point of a budget is to build a better financial future that will give you more freedom.

2 Set yourself some financial goals

Is there something that you want to save up for? When thinking of that, what financial goals could you set so you can make this happen? When you make financial goals, set both short and long term goals. There are plenty of apps on the market that can help, such as Yolt (iOSAndroid).

3 Plan for emergencies

Try to always have an emergency fund – also known as a rainy day fund. When things are not going so great, this type of ‘pot’ will be able to save you from debt, stress and associated issues. The emergency fund can be for things like emergency repairs, layoffs, medical bills etc. Proper planning helps make sure you have enough set aside ‘just in case’.

4 Limit your budget

When we are comfortable with our budget, it becomes all too easy to become complacent and fall back into bad habits and overspending. Try to stay within the lines and limit things to a reasonable calculation – you shouldn’t give yourself too much ‘spending money’, this helps ensure you don’t buy unnecessary things.

5 Set firm boundaries

Lending money to family or friends is very often the cause of money issues. Before saying yes to a request to borrow from you, be certain you have your financial needs sorted out first – there is every possibility that the money you lend out will not be returned.

6 Remove temptation

If you are an impulsive buyer, remove credit cards from your wallet/purse. Carry cash with you instead, and only enough for what you may need that day. Digital window shopping should stop too, so you are not tempted to buy that ‘must-buy’ nobody needs. On a similar note, you can create visual reminders for yourself – such as a note on the fridge – to remind yourself of your goals.

7 Look for like-minded groups

You can find a support group or centre that specialises in money advice so you can find the support you need and help you stay on track. Having a ‘finance buddy’ can help you stick with your goals and stay accountable for your spending. You and your support can share tips with one another.

8 Make yourself a rewards system

You should reward yourself once in a while for a great job done well. Staying true to your financial goals for a whole month is no mean feat, so you deserve a little something – an incentive, if you will, something to look forward to. Find something inexpensive that is pleasurable for you – a trip to the cinema, for example (put your own snacks in your jacket/bag!).

9 Track your expenditure

Keep tabs on where your money is going. This will help you keep yourself accountable for your spending and help you stay on budget. There are plenty of money management apps out there, simply pick one that suits you and start keeping track.

10 Schedule budget evaluations

You should evaluate your budget each month, to be sure it is still working for you and doesn’t need altering. Which factors prevented you from sticking to your budget? Which parts helped you stay on budget? Set aside a specific day for the evaluation to make sure you are not overspending.