However, instead of trying to fill someone else’s financial shoes, structure your finances in a way that benefits you. After all, a budget isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, and often find yourself reaching for a cash loan to cover your monthly expenses, Kiplinger has some advice on a few ways to find your financial footing.
Find The Right Mindset
Rather than treating your budget like a burden that leaves you with very little wiggle room, adjust your attitude to view it as a tool that works in your favor. While in the short-term a budget can seem like a financial straightjacket, it’s the opposite. If you make a realistic budget and stick to it, you will have significant financial success in the future. Perhaps referring to your budget as a “spending plan” can help you get started on the path to financial freedom.
Make Your Own Plan
Even if your friends and family may have a world of knowledge on how to handle money, it’s important to remember that people have many different levels of income, expenses and debt, Kiplinger says. With this in mind, the budget your grandmother uses might not work as seamlessly with your lifestyle as you think, especially if you have children, car loans and a mortgage to pay. Find one that fits your lifestyle. Thanks anyway Grandma.
Set Realistic Goals
According to Kiplinger, creating a budget just to have a plan can be difficult. Instead, try to to make a few financial goals that you can realistically meet. These goals should be simple, and can include initiatives, such as spending less on a certain product or service, or saving a certain amount of money at the end of every month. Laying out your mandatory expenses to see where you can’t cut corners will give you an idea of other areas where you can start to scale back your spending habits.
It’s important that your budget isn’t too rigid, the website recommends. If you don’t build in some breathing room to make mistakes, spend more than you expected in some areas or account for the unexpected, you plan can fold under pressure. If you don’t currently have enough money to provide flexibility, consider keeping a rigid budget until you have enough saved to ease the pressure.