We all want to lead a financially comfortable life and that’s why we work hard to earn money. Sometimes, it seems that no matter how much we earn, the money keeps draining away. So, where is the money going? Unless you maintain a budget and keep track of your expenses, it’s hard to manage your finances. But budgeting can be stressful. Many of us feel reluctant to open an Excel sheet and calculate our expenses every month. Here are some tips to stay motivated to improve and manage your finances.
Be Around Like-Minded People
You should surround yourself with people who think alike; that is, they also have the urge to stick to a budget every month. You will notice that you won’t feel any pressure from these people to go to an expensive restaurant or give expensive gifts. Sometimes we get influenced to overspend when we are surrounded by people who like to spend more. This can lead to financial trouble.
Choose An Easy Budgeting Method
It can be exhausting to sit on the laptop and create an Excel file for your budget or take a pen and paper to calculate your expenses manually. Instead, you will find several budgeting apps on your smartphone that you can easily download to create your monthly budget. Some of the popular budgeting apps include Mint, NerdWallet, YNAB, GoodBudget, and others. If you are comfortable using this app then you will most likely stick to it and make budgeting a habit.
Define Your Goals
You should have financial goals for which you are budgeting, for example, paying off a car loan or giving a mortgage for your new apartment. These big things are the reasons why you are creating a budget in the first place. Budget allows you to adjust your lifestyle according to your financial goals. When you have some goals in mind, you will be motivated to improve your finances. Instead of setting a long-term goal, you can split your goals into smaller and more achievable ones. That way you will see the result of your budgeting quickly and feel motivated to fulfill the next goal. Set up SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals for the best results.
Celebrate when you achieve small improvements in your financial condition, like paying off debt, creating a decent emergency fund, achieving a credit score of more than 700, or sticking to the budget for a few months in a row. Go to a nice restaurant or buy a new dress to celebrate your achievement. That way you will feel motivated to stick to budget and maintain your finances.
Deal With Stress
Thinking about finances all the time can lead to stress. You should get rid of this condition by doing activities like going out to a restaurant for dinner or watching a movie once in a while. You can also hang out with friends outside to spend some relaxing time. Going for morning walks or doing regular exercise can be de-stressing.
Set Up Auto Payments
It is a good idea to set up auto payments for your bills, mortgage, credit card, and other loans. That way you won’t miss any payments and get defaulted. Also, you will know how much money you have left to spend for the month.
Make Auto Savings
You should set auto payments for your retirement and emergency funds so that you can save up for the future. This way you will be saving money regularly. Initially, you can start by saving small amounts. At the end of a specific period, you will find that you have saved a significant amount of money.
Have A Sinking Fund
You can set up a sinking fund for the things you would like to buy or do. For example, if you want to watch a live World Cup Football match next year that is held in another country then the ticket and other expenses will be quite high. So, start saving small amounts of money in your sinking fund so that you can watch the match. Save up money for the fun activities you want to do or buy and that will motivate you to have control of your finances.
Read About The Financial World
You should keep reading financial magazines or blogs regularly that give you money-saving tips, and advice on financial goals, retirement plans, and others. The magazine articles or blogs give examples from real-world scenarios and you will know that you are not alone in this critical financial journey. You will also learn of many ways to come off from your debt or other difficult financial situations. These readings will motivate you to have control of your finances and improve them.
There may be difficult times when you may not feel like sticking to your financial goal or managing your finances. Minor financial setbacks are common in people’s lives, so these shouldn’t demotivate you. You should keep moving forward no matter what obstacle you face.
Find A Buddy
Going for a walk regularly in the morning can be difficult for some people. But imagine going with a buddy every day. I’m sure you will wake up early every morning just to spend some time with your buddy. The same thing is true in the case of managing finances. You should have a buddy for financial accountability. Tell your buddy what financial goals you have and set up a regular meeting to be accountable for your spending and saving.
You should treat yourself every month to avoid burnout. Sticking to a budget can be at times depressing. You will feel as if you are torturing yourself and missing all the fun out there. So, when you buy new clothes or go out for a special dinner, you will enjoy and feel that there is a reason why you should earn more and save up.
Create A Challenge
You can take part in challenges like the monthly money challenge game in which you limit your expenses to a pre-decided figure. It will be a fun experience and at the end of it, you will save some money. You can vary these games over time. For example, you can buy several envelopes and write some numbers (within 100) on them. Every day randomly pick up one envelope and put the amount in the envelope that matches the number written on it. Once all the envelopes have been filled up you will be surprised to see how much you have saved.
Make A Vision Board
You will always feel motivated to save money if you create a vision board with photos of the things you are planning to buy, like a car, house, or other things. The pictures will make you happy and you will remember to save money.
Track Your Progress
Seeing how close you are to your goals can be very motivating. So, use tracking tools like Trello to monitor how much you have saved. This type of tool creates a customized digital board and divides the big goals on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.
Join Financial Communities
You will find several online financial communities out there. You should become a member of such a community and exchange your opinion about managing finance. You can relate with the others. You will not only stay motivated to save money but also learn many things about the finance world.
Avoid The Comparison Trap
It is quite normal that some people will have more money than you. So, you should never compare your finances with that of the others; it will demotivate you. You must remember that everyone’s situation is unique. Thus, instead of thinking about how much other people have in their banks, concentrate on saving money yourself.
Do Business Out Of Passion
If you enjoy doing something then think of turning it into a profitable business. This way you can improve your finances while enjoying the money-making process. You will feel highly motivated to move forward with your new business.
Get Inspiration From Others
You should read stories of financially successful people and get advice from the experts in this sector. You will stay motivated once you learn that others have struggled too in this journey. You will find many motivational quotes online to keep yourself inspired.
The journey to improving your finances by saving money or in other ways isn’t tough once you are determined to do it. You just need to bring in some lifestyle changes and develop the ‘less spending, more saving’ attitude. The tips given here are very effective and will help to achieve your financial goals.