How to Be More Aware and Stick to Your Household Budget
Michelle Sevy — The Best Home Life
This post has been sponsored by Zions Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A., Member FDIC, in partnership with Forward Influence. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
Have you set a budget before and weren’t able to stick to it? Maybe you’ve sat down and tried to save yourself some money by trying to stay on a budget but you (and/or your spouse) found it hard to stay with the plan that you had set. If you are a Dave Ramsey fan like I am, it can be hard to pay with cash all the time or keep track of your paper or app-made budget categories.
How to Be More Aware and Stick to Your Household Budget
There are a couple of things that I have always looked into for setting up budgets and I have finally found an easy way to do it. They are:
- An uncomplicated way to make budget categories and keep up with my lifestyle and income changes
- Have a simple way to keep track of how much I have left in my budget and its categories
- I love Dave Ramsey, but hate the envelopes and cash. So I wanted to use a regular debit card for my transactions
Well … there is an easier way to make this budget thing work, and I was so happy to find it! This can happen and it really is so simple to use and implement into any lifestyle and income amount. Taking control of your money has never been easier and hassle free.
If you are more aware of how your money is being spent, it can help so much in the way you spend your money in the future. Don’t we all know how the small things add up! A coffee here, an online purchase there, and a shopping trip later can make a dent in our pocket. We look at our checking account and see a lot of purchases, and it can still be puzzling at where it all went.
There are a couple of things that I like to do to be more aware.
- Tell yourself that there really does need to be a change.
- Make it happen. Be more conscious of what you spend your money on while you are shopping and after. Don’t forget to look at your bank statements to see if there are any subscriptions you don’t use or could be replaced with a less expensive option.
- Highlight your bank statement like a rainbow! Grab a couple of highlighters or upload your last month’s statement to Google Docs, Excel, etc. so you can make each category of your budget a different color. It really helps to sort and have a visual of how you spend your money. It may surprise you, even if you have already been using a budget for a while or are just starting to make one.
- Look at your spending habits more frequently. I loved the feature on Zions Bank OnCard® mobile app that gives me notifications for all my purchases and it shows what category my purchase went to. So, when I went grocery shopping the other day, it notified me that I spent $200.58 on groceries and that I had $176 left to spend in my grocery budget. This helps me know that the next time I go grocery shopping, I just need to stay under that set amount.
- Research less expensive options and things you can do without. There are so many ways to be able to save money; look around for better prices on everyday items and larger-priced items.
A Budget Card
Is there really such a thing? What does that even mean? Well … there is, and it means a lot of time saved and better awareness and savings for you.
It started out with me going to Zions Bank and setting up one of their Anytime checking accounts. All their staff is amazing and helped me set up what’s called an OnCard. It is a card that you use like a regular debit card and is linked to my main checking account. All you do is transfer the total amount you are wanting to use for your budget.
I have been using my OnCard for all of my personal and food purchases. I was so excited to use it and see how it fit in our family’s budgeting system. The first month you are supposed to spend like you normally do, with a budget or without, and then the OnCard mobile app will automatically show you your spending habits and suggest a budget based on that. After the first month you can also edit your budget through the app. How simple right? I thought it might end up being a little bit more complicated than that, but it really isn’t. I can see exactly how much I have left in my budget categories and how much I have spent.
Sticking to Your Budget
Sticking to your budget is always the hardest. Life happens, so your budget doesn’t always stay on track. Now, if we add our awareness from earlier and also add some sticking power, we can come up with a budget that suits your lifestyle and saves some money.
- Make your budget realistic. You can say that you want to spend only a certain amount on groceries or eating out, but you keep going over budget. This can be a problem. Yeah you can say that you just need to be more disciplined, but if it keeps happening, it may be because you aren’t setting a realistic budget that you can stick to.
- Give yourself an allowance. Wanting to save money can make you skip out on little things that can make life more enjoyable. So even if it is a small amount, don’t forget about yourself.
- Get on the same page with your spouse. You may spend a lot of thought into how you set up your budget, but if your significant other ends up spending more out of the account than your budget allows, it can make it stressful and feel pointless to even have a budget in the first place. Sometimes it is just the fact that they are not aware of the amount that is really available in each category. An easy way to make this information more accessible is to get a secondary OnCard through Zions Bank especially for them so they can see the budget and see how much is left to spend in each category. My husband and I used to use money envelopes; they are a good thought, but they made purchases a lot more difficult. Our OnCards are a replacement for our cash envelopes.
- Give yourself a why. Why do you want to save? Financial freedom, getting out of debt, saving for your children’s future, to travel more, or to buy that one thing that you’ve been planning on for a while now? Finding your why can make your purchasing awareness a lot easier. Do you really want to overspend in dining out when you could be saving it for that trip to Hawaii with your family?
The Best Home Life has been compensated by Zions Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC, for the making of “How to Be More Aware and Stick to Your Household Budget.” I am part of Forward Influence. All opinions are my own and based off of my own experience.Follow my blog with Bloglovin