During this rather challenging economic climate the dark clouds seem to be looming over many people’s financial situation. Even if you are lucky enough to still be in a relatively secure situation (no situation can be totally secure) then you’ll need to focus on what happens between each paycheck. A solid budget plan is a necessity when variables – such as gas and food – can fluctuate quite drastically from month to month. Here are a few tips on how to maximize each paycheck.
One of the biggest problems that people face is the unfortunate chance that an emergency might arise, where they are forced into paying a large sum of money, something that their lack of following a thorough budget plan template didn’t quite cover.
The way to combat this is to pay yourself first, every month. Make a habit of putting money away as part of your home budget plan. As these savings build up you’ll find that you can apportion enough to deal with an emergency but still have enough to get away on a small vacation sometime.
The Urge to Splurge
There are plenty of sample budget plans out there and you’ll find that most of them include a miscellaneous column. Many people see this as an invitation to add anything they want to the space. Seven course meals and unnecessarily expensive bottles of whiskey are not supposed to fill that space.
Break it Down
The great thing about saving is that putting aside money every month can lead to the growth of positive spending habits. Just consider how many drinks you have on the weekend. It wouldn’t be too hard to cut down by one or two every weekend, if you made a conscious effort to do so. Add this to your budget plan and between paychecks this could help you save without too much effort.
You can extend this to the types of food you eat and whether you can do without one or two items you would usually have bought. Stand right in front of the item in the store and see if you could substitute it for something cheaper, but just as satisfying. You’ll feel good about it and your bank account will thank you too.
These are just a few relatively basic tips and tricks, but worth reminding yourself of as we often slip into that paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle that inhibits our financial freedom. You’ll find the small short-term alterations in your budget plan will prove a lot more liberating in time to come.
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Dave Peterson has been a busines consultant for years and he passionate about developing other people’s careers. Whether he’s asked to scout out a manged office or give a key note address at a conference, he’s a yes man at the end of the day.