Everyone’s budget and budgeting style is different. And these days, spending money can be easier than saving money. Which is why here at GoDay, we’re big believers in having a budget. You’ll notice that throughout our GoDay Blog we talk about budget a lot and believe that having some kind of budget that works for you and your money is key to being on top of your finances. But it’s when you go over budget and are spending more than expected that can get you off track, but also why we’re here – to get you back on track. So how to borrow money quickly? The GoDay way, of course. We’re here to help you get back on budget and with our flexible and speedy options, we help you solve those urgent but temporary cash-flow needs. We help give you some of our favourite budget tips and tricks and for more information about how we can get you back on track click here.
It is okay to re-evaluate your budget if you’re finding it’s not working for you and you’re not able to stick to your financial plan. If you’re a first-time budgeter, finding a way to manage your money that works for you is the first step you need to take. We have talked about how mobile apps are leading the way when it comes to new ways to save. Banks have also jumped on board and have created ways to see where your money is which can help you stay on budget by adding your accounts and tracking your purchases. People are finding that with technology today, this is becoming a more popular way of monitoring your cash flow as it is more common now for people to always have their mobile devices readily available. If that doesn’t sound like you, what about a spending journal? A tracking sheet? A program or software? As you can see, there are many different ways to help get you started when it comes to budgeting. It can be very common for people to have to tweak their budgets a few times from time to time and things like new expenses, big events and of course the unexpected payments we all face can all impact your spending and throw you off budget. That’s why seeing where your money is a great opportunity to be able to readjust it to stay on track all while paying for all of life’s moments.
Know Where Your Money Is
It’s not always knowing how much money you are making, but also about how much money you have coming out and being able to recognize that as the first step in being able to create your budget. This is not only a starting point for your expenses but also your savings. Off the top of your head, do you know your total monthly expenses? Do you know what you are going to be spending your money on this month? That’s why creating a list of each expense can help lay out all your costs and make it easy to see where your money is going. If you can see that you won’t be staying on track, it also means you have an idea of your spending habits to know how you have gone over budget in the first place. Once you have your costs organized you will feel more financially prepared and will help with going over budget. By being aware you’ve blown your budget this will help you be more cautious when it comes to your spending. There shouldn’t be any extra expenditures when you’re already in a financial bind, and by understanding how you got yourself into this financial situation is what also needs to be addressed. Did you miss a bill payment and the interest is adding up? Is it a big month in terms of expenses? Has there been an emergency where financial assistance is required? No matter what the situation, understanding why you’re in the financial spot you are in is what will help you get out of that bind, but will also help you prepare for your future spending accordingly.
Have Emergency Fund in Place
A lot of people think that because they have savings, they will be okay financially when it comes to an emergency. But do you have a specific set of funds dedicated to an “emergency fund” for when you really need it? Any form of savings is helpful when it comes to being in a financial bind, but in the case of a money emergency, you should always be prepared. But it is also usually these financial emergencies that throw you off budget and can also cause you to dip into your emergency fund. Emergency funds are most commonly used in cases when you need a lot of extra cash on top of your current expenses causing them to double or more. The only time to use your emergency fund (which is why it should be different than a regular savings account) is when you need to prepare for the financially unexpected. It is when these financial strains happen that people also turn to GoDay. In the case of a financial emergency and people do not have the savings or emergency fund available, we’re here to help you get the cash you need.
Budget Your Savings
Once you are back on budget, you can then focus on your savings. By treating your savings account like any other bill that needs to be paid each month, your saving will become like a routine payment. With all of your costs laid out, you can now see when your money is going; this is where you can take the next steps to see where you can start saving more. It is very common to feel like you don’t have enough money to save after you’ve paid all your bills and covered the other expenses for the month; but by creating a budget and making your savings a financial priority, this helps to force you to start putting money away. That is why you need to budget for your savings. This could also lead to finding spending gaps and other things within your budget where you start to cut back. We can’t stress enough how important having some form of saving goals can be, so treat your savings like any other expense and work out how to add saving more into your budget.
Worrying About It Later
As we have already asked, do you know what your money situation looks like each month? Do you know how much money you put onto your credit card or line of credit each month? Do you know when all your payments are due? Not everyone keeps track of what they’re charging to their cards or how much interest could be collecting, but by throwing purchases onto your credit card without keeping your budget in mind is what can get you into debt in the first place. This is another example of when customers need our help. Start your application on a new loan to help you get to your next paycheque. Especially if you’re trying to tackle debt, putting purchases on your credit card compared to using cash or debit is what can lead you off track. So come the end of the month and you’re looking at your credit card statement and realize how much you’ve actually spent. Next month try and plan your purchases better or even try not to use your credit card for that month and only work with the funds you have available through cash or debit. This can be done by planning your purchases ahead of time. Things like special occasion spending can add up to. So if you know the holidays are coming or you have a wedding to attend, save your pennies since you know you’re going to need to spend them and start purchasing things in advanced. This will help avoid big surprises on your credit card bill at the end of each month.
We’re not saying that you don’t deserve special treatment, but this also has to be done within reason. Because treating yourself can come at a cost. These guilty pleasure purchases have become a catchphrase that when you hear of someone “treating themselves”, the conversation usually follows up with something that was purchased that was not originally budgeted for but makes you happy. This also goes along with justifying your purchases because we don’t want you to be giving yourself an excuse to go out and spend money. But treating yourself to things often can have the same effects as unplanned spending because of a lack of planning (getting take out when there’s food in the fridge at home), falling out of budget and financial routine. Staying on track and treating yourself less often can help you save money towards the things you really want to do or buy, like that vacation you definitely deserve. Everyone splurges now and again, but it can also be on little things as a form of a reward and doesn’t have to break the bank. But it is making sure you have the funds available to do so and that spoiling yourself isn’t a regular occurrence. Needless to say, we always support celebrating (within budget) special occasions and accomplishments.
Financial Wants vs. Financial Needs
Do you know the difference between a financial want and financial need? Financial wants are the items and things we desire, compared to our financial needs which our financial obligations such as bills, debts and everything else life throws at us that we need to pay for. Which is also usually the things that don’t make us happy and would rather be putting our hard earned dollars isn’t something else. And on top of that, we need to be saving! So how do you not go over budget and still but also have enough fun without living paycheck to paycheck? It’s a trick everyone is learning to master, and there are more and more resources out there no matter what your financial responsibilities are. We’ve become accustomed to some of these things that we think we “need” them because we’ve had them for so long when really it’s more of a “want” and would be just fine without them.
Are you living within your financial means? It sounds easy, right? Well, you would be surprised as to how much people are constantly overspending and thinking that things are within their means when they surprisingly aren’t. This is very common when it comes to materialistic goods, the ones we’re buying because we think it will make us happy. Living in a society where the latest gadget is a “must have” and brands create good marketing to make us feel we “need” these things is one of the ways people are constantly overspending and finding themselves in debt. We suggest you stop overspending and evaluate the things that are a want vs. need and create a budget so you still have fun.
It’s one thing to put all this effort into budgeting, but it’s another to actually follow through on your financial goals. By sticking to the budget list you’ve created, you’re working on creating financial stability focused around you and your lifestyle. One of the biggest challenges is being able to bounce back from debt and get your finances back on track. When you’re in this kind of financial position or know you’re getting close to going over budget, there are many things people can do. As financially stressed you may be, your main focus should be getting back on track and you can do that by re-evaluating your expenses and seeing where changes can be made, seeing your financial planner for professional advice and any bank changes you could need or applying for a payday loan to float you until your next paycheck.