Managing A Successful Budget

Here at GoDay, we’re big on budgeting. But we also know that everyone has different financial priorities and that’s why we understand that sticking to a budget can be tricky. And these days, spending money can be easier than saving money. And getting you back on budget is one of the main goals of GoDay and why we offer payday loans for Canadians. We talk about budgeting a lot on our GoDay Blog and believe that having some kind of budget in place 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, let you know what to do before applying and for more information about how we can get you back on track click here.

It’s Never Too Early or Too Late to Start Budgeting

Like other money matters, one of the most common questions when it comes to budgeting is “where do I start”? And the answer is – it’s never too early or too late to start budgeting. It could be your first part-time job, but once you start making money (and more spending money) you should know where it’s going and have some form of budget or tracking system in place. At the same time, if you’re getting closer to retirement it is also not too late to do an inventory on your savings and spending habits so you can start planning for your retirement. No matter your age or stage in your life, it is never too early or too late to take control of your finances.

Keep it Simple                                               

When it comes to your budget, it is okay to re-evaluate your financial plan. Keeping track of what money is coming in and what money needs to go out can be overwhelming! But that is why there are numerous tools out there to help you with budgeting and keeping your finances in check. If you’re a first-time budgeter, the first step is to find the right tool or budget method that will work for you. 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. Some banking apps already have a budget tool built-in for you to keep track.

But if that doesn’t sound like you, that’s okay too, because there are many ways you can create a budget. Things like a spending journal, tracking sheets, or other programs. We also recommend checking in on your budget. Are you staying on track? Or do things need to be tweaked because of spending habits? 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.  As you can see, there are many different ways to help get you started when it comes to budgeting. That’s why being able to see where your money is a great way to be able to readjust when you need to but also stay on track – all while paying for all of life’s moments.

Budget Your Savings

Your budget should be more than paying bills and managing your spending, but it should also include working on your savings. 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. By treating your savings account like any other bill that needs to be paid each month, your saving will become like a routine payment. There are also different ways you can do this. From employers offering different matching programs and incentives to set up automatic transfers to a high-interest savings account or RRSP or TFSA accounts, every time your paycheque comes in, you should try budgeting for your savings like you budget for any of your regular payments or bills for the month. With all of your costs laid out, you can see where your money is going; and can then take the next steps to see where you can start saving more. Having a budget in place can also lead to finding spending gaps and other things where you could start to cut back to save more. We can’t stress enough how important having some form of saving goals can be, so by treating your savings like any other expense you can then work out how to add more savings into your budget.

Know Where Your Money Is Going

Like we mentioned when it comes to budgeting your savings, you know where that money is going. And with a budget in place being able to see where your money is going can play a big role in your financial success.  It’s not only about knowing how much money you are making but being able to identify your spending is one of the first steps in managing a successful budget.

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 your expenses can help layout your costs and make it easy to see what you need to be budgeting for. If you can see that you won’t be staying on track and be going over budget, it is an opportunity to learn more about your spending habits and to look at how you have gone over budget in the first place. There shouldn’t be any extra expenditures when you’re already in a financial bind or if you’ve gone over budget, and by understanding how you got yourself into this financial situation is what also needs to be addressed. But we also understand that these situations happen and by going over budget it can lead to things like missing a bill payment or putting things on your credit card that you will have to pay interest on. It’s in situations where you know you are over budget that GoDay is here to help. We’re here to help you get you back on track and your expenses paid for so you can start budgeting for what matters. 

Stop Worrying About It Later

We’ve talked about if you know what your cash flow is each month, but that also includes how often you’re using your credit cards or other financial means such as lines of credit or payday or short-term loans. Do you know when all of your bill payments each month are due? Not everyone keeps track of what they’re charging to your cards or how much interest could be collecting, but by charging purchases onto your credit card without keeping your budget in mind and worrying about it later is what can get you into debt in the first place. Especially if you’re trying to tackle debt, putting purchases on your credit card compared to using cash or debit is what can get you off track. And when it comes to the end of the month and you’re looking at your credit card statement and realize how much you’ve actually spent, that’s usually when you realize how off-budget you are and may need our help to make sure you can get all your payments made for the month.

We understand that life happens and there are unexpected things that pop up that don’t fall within your budget. But there is a difference between financial wants and financial needs when it comes to budgeting and things you can and cannot worry about later. With this in mind, you can take these as opportunities to readjust your budget as we mentioned above and work on planning out your purchases or even try different savings tactics like not to using your credit card for the month and only work with the funds you have available through cash or debit.

Stay Committed

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 you’ve created, you are working on creating financial stability that will only help you in the future. You don’t want to be feeling financially stressed or all over the place when it comes to your finances, so it will take some work to stay committed to your new budget and determining what your financial priorities are. There is always one thing to keep in mind when you are either starting or trying to maintain your budget – make sure that your monthly expenses are less than your income. Seems pretty reasonable, right? Not only can this help you stay committed to your budget, but once you start spending more than you are making, this is where you can run into some serious financial issues.

Don’t Forget About The Fun Stuff

We’ve all asked the question, does money buy happiness? When you’re constantly worried about the next payment and if you’re staying on track financially, it can become so easy to forget to treat yourself and to budget in the fun stuff. No matter how tight your budget is, you need to leave a little wiggle room for treating yourself or any other expenses that may pop up. 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. There are many benefits to sticking by your budget, but it is also being creative on how you are saving money because a smart budgeting plan doesn’t mean you need to take away the unexpected costs that we don’t plan for. Instead, research and plan how much these things will cost and adjust your budget accordingly.

When it comes to managing a successful budget it’s about finding what works for you and ensuring that you’re living within your means. Overspending and losing track of our budget happens and that is why we are here to help. To get you back on track so you can meet your financial goals. We’re always looking for ways to help you save more money and keep your visits with us few and far between, and when it comes down to it, what are you willing to sacrifice to buckle down on your budget? We share a few of our favourite budget tools and resources on our website, learn more here.

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