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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

4 Helpful Tips and Tricks for Living on a Budget

Couple creating family budget

Saving money can be a difficult task - especially when you don’t know where to begin. However, living on a budget isn’t as difficult as you may think. With the right guidelines, you can save money while still living the life you’re accustomed to. We’ve compiled four tips and tricks for living on a budget to help get you started.
  1. Create a Budget and Organize it

    If you’re looking to live within certain means, you must first create a budget. When you’re putting together your budget, it’s crucial that you begin by tracking your expenses. How much do you spend on gas in a given month? How much do groceries typically cost? Ask yourself these questions and keep track of all your receipts. Knowing exactly how much you spend each month will make it considerably easier to put together your budget.

    Once you know what you’re spending each month, it’s just a matter of deciding which expenses are necessary and which aren’t. Organize your budget by categorizing your expenses; placing each expense under a specific category will make it easier to determine fixed spending versus expenses you can adjust. Remember to keep track of where all your money is going and be sure you don’t spend more than your income.
  1. Avoid Living Beyond Your Means

    For some, this tip is easier said than done. Many often overspend without ever meaning to because they simply aren’t aware of cheaper alternatives. This is especially true when it comes to factors like rent, groceries, and entertainment. You may want to consider renting out space to a roommate to help cover your costs of living or start buying groceries based on which store is offering a discount. When it comes to having fun, we know going out with friends can start to add up. Consider inviting everyone over for a game night or renting a movie to watch at home. Small changes like these will start to add up over time, saving you more money in the long run.
  1. Plant Your Own Food

    For those who don’t mind making bigger changes for the sake of saving money, planting a home garden may be for you. While this doesn’t work for every food group, you can plant a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and even nuts in your own back yard. Honing your green thumb won’t only save you money on groceries either. It’s also a great way to eat healthier because you’ll be including more natural ingredients in your meals.

    Some lesser-known foods that can be grown in your yard include garlic, almonds, asparagus, and goji berries. Keep in mind though that many of these plants need specific conditions and climates in order to thrive, so be sure to check which ones would be best to grow in your specific area. If you aren’t as familiar with growing your own food, you’re going to want to check out a growing guide or two before you begin.
  1. Discuss Your Financial Limitations

    Though your finances are generally a private matter, it’s beneficial to notify your friends and family that you’re watching your spending. Just because you’re living on a budget doesn’t mean that your lifestyle has to completely change. You can continue to follow a fairly similar routine as long as you’re practicing good spending habits. For instance, you and your friends could split the price of an appetizer while out to dinner. Having a supportive group of friends and family around will make sure that you stay committed to your goal.