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  • So, You’ve Created a Budget… Now What?

    So, You’ve Created a Budget… Now What?

    by:
    Paulette Thompson

    It’s the final week of our 30-Day Financial Detox Challenge and this week it’s all about incorporating your new 'detoxified' budget into your lifestyle. In this week’s blog you will learn how to:

    • Control your spending using simple tricks
    • Stay motivated to save
    • Foster healthy money habits

    If you haven’t been following along, here we wrapped up weeks one, two and three of the Financial Detox Challenge.

    Spending Diet vs Lifestyle Change

    Budgets are very pretty when they’re balanced. They look good, they even make you feel good but unless you’re prepared to make a lifestyle change when it comes to how you spend your money, all the work you did to track your spending and cut expenses can go down the tubes.

    Here are a few tips you can use to help you control your spending and keep your budget intact, for life.

    #1 Use a cash system

    I’m not suggesting you start emptying out your bank account to pay the rent. DANGER!  Based on your balanced budget, take out the cash you need for the week to cover your day-to-day expenses, like snacks, coffees, or meals at work. No more spending from your debit card like it’s an endless pit of money!  

    Using cash gives you a visual. You’ll see how much money you have left over after you spend some of it. You’re also forced to decide in the moment as to whether you’re prepared to live for the rest of the week with whatever cash you have left, or if you’d rather forgo the item and save the money for something else. Dealing with the "drawbacks" of spending controlled cash amounts is much easier than dealing with the consequences of uncontrolled spending. For example, not having enough money for a coffee and a muffin on Friday is easier to deal with than not being able to pay the rent next month. 

    #2 Remember your financial goals

    Remember why you’re doing this in the first place. Maybe it’s a vacation, retirement, a down payment on a home, or an emergency fund.  We don’t think of our financial goals on a day-to-day basis. We normally only think about them when we sit down to create a budget and looking at the bigger picture.  

    Carry a reminder with you. Put something in your wallet, a picture or a post-it as a reminder. This constant visual will help keep you motivated to save.  You may still spend some money, but chances are you won’t spend as much or as often when you're reminded of your goals.  

    #3 Forget about the Joneses

    Stop spending money because everyone else is!  There’s a chance that the people you’re trying to keep up with could be struggling and making poor financial choices, and you don’t want to follow in their footsteps. Your spending choices should be based on your budget, not Mr. Jones’ budget.  It’s not always about what you can or cannot afford, it’s about what you’re willing to spend your money on. It feels good to stay on track and be in control, so take pride and ownership over your smart purchases and forget about the ones that could weigh you down.

    #4 Leave your credit card at home

    Most items we put on our credit cards are impulse or last minute purchases. If you start leaving your credit card at home you’ll give yourself some time to think about that purchase and determine if it’s a need or a want, and if it fits into your overall financial goals.  

    If all else fails and you’re still spending more than you should, put your credit card in a bag of water and freeze it… then call Credit Canada! We can help you through each step of the budgeting process and provide you with the tools you need to make it stick, all for free. We can also help you address any debt problems you may have by offering repayment solutions that are affordable and tailored to your budget. You can get a Free Debt Assessment as soon as today, or give us a call at 1.800.267.2272.

    A Financial Detox is a good idea if you want to boost your savings for a specific goal, like an upcoming vacation, new furniture, a course you want to take, or even a down payment. You can do it for however long you like—a week, a month, three months, etc. Just remember to track your savings so you know exactly how much all of your hard work is really paying off. The best part is you’ll be building healthy money habits along the way that will help you save in the long-run too.

    Check out our 30-Day Financial Detox Challenge for more healthy money tips to help you increase your financial wellness.

    Topics: Financial Detox

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