25 Simple Ways To Keep A Budget And Live Within Your Means

Most of us are really bad at managing our money. We’re terrible in fact. From student debt and mortgages to credit cards and car loans, most people are in the red when it comes to their finances. Today we’re going to take a close look at how we can prevent ourselves from committing fatal financial errors. Budgeting is the obvious answer, but how you budget is even more important. You can’t just wake up one day, create a budget, and hope to stick to it. It’s kind of like a new year’s resolution to work out at the gym. They’re a dime a dozen but very few people stick to them. To follow your budget you will need to start living a principled life. This is hard because it will mean forgoing certain things that you want to do or giving up various desires. If you successfully implement everything that we talk about in this list you should be well on your way to living a more responsible life, at least in financial terms. Just remember, change doesn’t happen overnight, usually it can take a while. These are 25 simple ways to keep a budget and live within your means.

Featured Image: 401(K) 2012 via Flickr

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25

Never go grocery shopping hungry. Studies show that you are more likely to overspend.

Never go grocery shopping hungrySource: reddit, Image: wikipedia
24

Sleep on it before you make purchases. This will keep you from making impulse buys.

Sleep on it before you make purchases. This will keep you from making impulse buys.Source: reddit, Image: pexels
23

Before you even pay the bills, take 10% of your income and put it in savings

Before you even pay the bills, take 10% of your income and put it in savingsSource: reddit, Image: Simon Cunningham via Flickr
22

Before your buy anything, calculate how many hours it took you to earn that amount. This is another way to avoid impulse buys.

Before your buy anything, calculate how many hours it took you to earn that amount. This is another way to avoid impulse buys.Source: reddit, Image: pexels
21

Keep all of your receipts or make your own and at the end of the day list your expenditures

Keep all of your receipts or make your own and at the end of the day list your expendituresSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia
20

At the end of each month you can track your spending and see where you can adjust it

At the end of each month you can track your spending and see where you can adjust itSource: reddit, Image: Tax Credits via Flickr
19

Create grocery lists before you go shopping and only buy the things on your list

Create grocery lists before you go shopping and only buy the things on your listSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia
18

Pay off your credit card purchases within 48 hours

Pay off your credit card purchases within 48 hoursSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia
17

Before you buy anything, ask yourself if you really need it or if you just really want it

Before you buy anything, ask yourself if you really need it or if you just really want itSource: reddit
16

Stay healthy, eat right, and exercise. Health problems can be the biggest drain on your finances.

Stay healthy, eat right, and exercise. Health problems can be the biggest drain on your finances.Source: reddit, Image: freestockphotos.biz
15

Invest for the long term. Mutual funds and ETFs are your friends.

Invest for the long term. Mutual funds and ETFs are your friends.Source: reddit, Image: Chris Potter via Flickr
14

Buy with cash. You can't spend money that you don't have. And be careful because with overdraft protection many banks will let you withdraw more than you have

Buy with cash. You can't spend money that you don't have. And be careful because with overdraft protection many banks will let you withdraw more than you haveSource: reddit, Image: pixabay
13

Try to limit the number the advertisements that you are exposed to. It can unknowingly affect your buying habits.

Try to limit the number the advertising that you are exposed to. It can unwittingly affect your buying habits.Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia
12

Don't shop at the mall. For most people there is just too much tempation

Don't shop at the mall. For most people there is just too much tempationSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia
11

Pack your own lunch everyday. You can potentially save thousands of dollars over the long run.

Pack your own lunch everyday. You can potentially save thousands of dollars over the long run.Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia
10

Are you saving for retirement? A trip? Continually remind yourself of your financial goals to gain motivation for frugal living.

Are you saving for retirement? A trip? Continually remind yourself of your financial goals to gain motivation for frugal living.Source: reddit, Image: pixabay
9

Don't compete with other people. You don't need the same car/house/clothes that they have (this is much easier to do if you take our last bit of advice about remembering your financial goals)

Don't compete with other people. You don't need the same car/house/clothes that they have (this is much easier to do if you take our last bit of advice about remember your financial goals)Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia
8

Whether its making dinner or changing your own oil, be creative and try to do things on your own. This will save you money and you'll learn a few things along the way.

Whether its making dinner or changing your own oil, be creative and try to do things on your own. This will save you money and you'll learn a few things along the way.Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia
7

Time is money. To save money you'll have to learn to manage your time. Focus your attention on the most important and productive tasks.

Time is money. To save money you'll have to learn to manage your time. Focus your attention on the most important and productive tasks.Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia
6

Save gradually. Just like we mentioned investing for the long term, you're going to have to make a lifestyle out of saving. It's the most surefire way to be successful

Save gradually. Just like we mentioned investing for the long term, you're going to have to make a lifestyle out of saving. It's the most surefire way to be successfulSource: reddit
5

Try to avoid brand names if you can help it. Sure, sometimes they are better quality but for the most part they are just a label.

Try to avoid brand names if you can help it. Sure, sometimes they are better quality but for the most part they are just a label.Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia
4

Define (or redefine) what rich means to you. Spending time with family? Not having debt? Being rich doesn't have to be about having lots of money or material things.

Define (or redefine) what rich means to you. Spending time with family? Not having debt? Being rich doesn't have to be about having lots of money or material things.Source: reddit, Image: pixabay
3

Before you go out somewhere, always consider whether you are going with a purpose. It's good to relax, but sometimes you can easily do that from home.

Before you go out somewhere, always consider whether you are going with a purpose. It's good to relax, but sometimes you can easily do that from home.Source: reddit, Image: pexels
2

Keep an eye on your accounts. This will ensure that your financial situation and goals continue to affect your buying habits

Keep an eye on your accounts. This will ensure that your financial situation and goals continue to affect your buying habitsSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia
1

It may sound simplistic, but the key to everything is to not spend more money than you have

It may sound simplistic, but the key to everything is to not spend more money than you haveSource: reddit, Image: wikipedia


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