Top 10 Budgeting Strategies That Help Curb Overspending

If your spending habits have you digging for pennies before the next payday, maybe

it’s time for a change. Unfortunately, running out of money before payday, especially
if you do it over and over, causes a lot of undue stress that can negatively affect your
health as well as your pocketbook.

However, you can reduce this stress and get back on track with your finances by altering
your spending habits.

How will you do it?

Try these budgeting techniques:

1.  Make a Master List. Develop a list of all your loan payments and credit card
bills. You’ll expand your awareness about the number of creditors you have, the
total amount you owe, and the due dates of your monthly payments.

  • On the list, have 5 columns: the name of the creditor, your monthly

payment, the due date of each month’s payment, the amount of interest
you’re charged, and the total amount you owe.

2.  Add other monthly expenditures to your Master List. Next, list things like your
rent or mortgage payment, grocery costs, gasoline costs, and anything else you
pay monthly. Estimate the amounts for your cable, water, garbage, cell phone,
and utility bills, using last month’s statements. Your Master List should reflect all
your outgoing expenditures.

3. Establish priorities. Which bills do you see as the most important? Mark them
in some way by highlighting or circling them.

4.  Survey the remaining bills. In looking at these non-priority bills, you can most
likely discover some areas in which you can lower your costs.

5. Examine frivolous expenditures. Are you spending $30 a week on fancy
coffees? Do you stop after work for a few beers with co-workers two or three
days a week? If so, consider the amount of money you spend for these sorts of
activities. Which expenditures can you reduce? Which can you cut out
completely, at least for a three-month period?
6. Call your credit card companies to request lower interest rates. Make a
notation on your Master List of the reduced rates you receive. Also note any
companies that refuse to reduce your rates. Make the decision to stop using
credit cards with high interest rates.

7. Take decisive steps to reduce your expenses. For example, if you’re paying out
$180 a month for premium cable channels, you have the power to cut your
cable bill simply by picking up the phone and calling the cable company.

8. Determine how you can bring in additional dollars. Consider a second job.
Then, use the extra money you earn to pay off debts. Recognize you have the
power to change things.

9. Keep your Master List with you throughout the day. Each time you’re about to
make a purchase, glance at the list and reflect on your bills. Ask yourself if you
truly need what you’re about to purchase. Allow yourself to feel proud about
this new routine.
10. Record your thoughts and feelings about the changes you’re making.It’s a

challenge to try to change something about yourself, and how you manage your

finances is no different. Write down how you’re feeling about adjusting your
spending habits. Be optimistic that you can and will change your financial
If you consistently find yourself running out of money, vow to follow these strategies
to change your unhelpful behaviors. You have the choice to alter your financial habits
in powerful ways. You can do it!

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