Budgeting isn’t just about will power, though we tend to think about it like it is. People don’t tend to like budgets, in the same way they don’t like going to the gym. It’s work, it’s commitment, it’s acting against your simpler impulses more time than some are comfortable with. But budgeting is the key to advancing in your personal finance life. You already know this; you don’t need some personal finance blog to convince you it’s true. But a blog might be able to get your head in the right spot so that you can actually accomplish your budgetary goals.
One way you can do this is by making some changes to your financial life that don’t require daily will power. Sometimes creating a workable budget is about making lifestyle changes, some of them big, some of them small. I’ve got some of the best ways for you to consider, and they’ll all make a difference in your wallet.
- Sell Your Car, If You Can. An expensive car loan can keep you from saving and investing. If it’s possible for you to get around on a bike or through public transit, do so. If you can sell your vehicle and buy one which is a lot cheaper, do so. Lots of people are simply used to driving a nice vehicle. They take pride in it. But they don’t realize how much it’s holding them back financially. Because a car is not necessary to health or happiness, I say it goes on the financial chopping block when trying to make a workable budget.
- Get Rid of Suckers on the Vine. This obscure gardening metaphor is in reference to the kind of financial entities which are drafting your money, perhaps without your notice. I’m referring to subscription services, as well as sneaky financial systems like Payment Protection Insurance. This latter thing has been big news in England for the past decade. Over the years, many consumers signed of for insurance they didn’t want, hidden as it was in dense financial contracts. Today, they’re fighting back and getting big settlements. Check out this PPI calculator to see how much you could save or get back.
- Cook Your Own Food. One of the best ways to spend money is to learn to do things for yourself. Because we eat every day, usually several times a day, you can save loads of money simply by learning to cook for yourself. Restaurants charge a premium for making food for folks like you. Many also try to get by using ingredients which promote flavor, not health. So eat better, for less money, by learning to cook your own food.
These are three simple things that most people can handle. They won’t require you to scrimp and save in a way that most people find difficult. In general, they are a way to start investing in a more sustainable lifestyle. Start today and in a few months, you’ll definitely notice the difference. You can get your personal finance app that will improve your finance. Get the hang of it, and you’ll spot other ways to better your budget without making it too hard on yourself.
Hi, my name is Jon and I run Compounding Pennies. I’ve been interested in personal finance since high school and love writing and talking about it. You can learn more about me in the Authors section of this site.