Frugal living is important to me and I know it’s important to a lot of you too (which is probably why this $50 grocery budget post is consistently my blog’s most popular post!)
I’ll be totally honest with you though – as much as I care about saving money and living frugally, my husband and I have often struggled to stick to our budget. The struggle is real you guys!! Sometimes there’s just more month than budget if you know what I mean, ha!
Today’s post is a simple one – three ways to spend less and stick with your budget. These things aren’t mind-blowing by any means, but they are big reasons why we’ve actually been able to stick to our budget lately. 😉
Three Ways to Spend Less and Stick With Your Budget
1. Don’t go shopping
Want to know the simplest way to spend less and stick with your budget? Don’t go shopping.
You may laugh but I’m serious. I’m sure you’ve seen the memes about moms shopping at Target but here’s one just in case!
If there’s not something you specifically need, don’t go to the store just to “browse.” You’re just setting yourself up to be tempted by all the “good deals” you see. Remember, if you don’t need it, it’s not a good deal, period.
Since becoming a one car family I’ve been to stores a lot less, and guess what? I’ve been tempted to spend money a whole lot less too.
By the way, this principle applies to online shopping too – don’t get on just to browse. Find another hobby!
2. Make a list and stick to it
We all need to shop some time, so when you do, make a list and stick. to. your. list. I can tell you from personal experience that making a list and using it when you shop will help you spend less and stick to your budget. I can also tell you from personal experience that the opposite is true as well – don’t make a list and you’re likely to suddenly “remember” a lot more things that you think you need when you see them in the store.
Need help making a grocery list? You can grab my free grocery list printable below!
3. Record every expense, manually
Pablo and I have had a budget the entire time we’ve been married, but it’s only been recently that we’ve started to manually record every single expense.
We used to use Mint for our budget. We had it connected to our bank account and credit card so that our expenses were automatically recorded. It was really convenient, but guess what happened? We started to check our budget to see how much we had spent, rather than how much we could spend. In other words, our budget was little more than a report on our spending and we often ended the month with an “oops, let’s do better next month.”
Now that we are manually recording every single expense we are much more in tune with our finances. Yes, it’s a little more work, but at least for us it’s absolutely worth it. And really, it takes no time at all as long as you stay on top of it.
So there you have it, three simple ways to spend less and stick with your budget! Yes, they’re super “basic”, but sometimes it’s the simplest things that make the biggest difference.
What helps you spend less and stick with your budget? Let me know in the comments below!