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Even the most dedicated of budget warriors have their financial kryptonite. Whether your weak spot with money is concert tickets, spending too much at the supermarket, or going a little overboard on the latest gadgets, everyone has room for improvement with their money habits and staying on budget. Fortunately, a handful of simple budget hacks can steer you clear of those personal financial pitfalls and keep you on track to your goals.
Although it can take a bit of self-control, putting yourself on a strict cash allowance for those areas that make you weak in your financial knees can be extremely effective in keeping you on budget. For example, if you know that $100 is sufficient for your weekly grocery needs with maybe just a few minor extravagances, take that cash out of the bank and use it at the supermarket rather than your debit or credit card. You can use the same technique for a monthly clothing allowance, recreation, or anything else problematic to your financial well-being.
Most banks and credit unions have extremely useful financial apps that can help you track your spending on specific items, categories, days, or any number of variables. Likewise, there are a variety of simple budget software platforms that can take an even more in-depth look into your spending habits, revealing issues that you might not have even been aware of but still wreak havoc on your cash flow.
Many people have a particular soft spot for their morning cup of coffee. The problem with such a habit is its subtlety, barely making a scratch on any given day. As those cups of coffee accumulate over the course of a week, month, and year, however, they can add up to a substantial amount of money that could be better devoted to savings or paying down debt. A smartphone app or a budgeting program can help you identify such pieces of information that might ordinarily go unnoticed, paying significant dividends — perhaps even literally — down the road.
Another of life’s more common financial pitfalls is the convenience of grabbing some take-out for dinner on your way home from a particularly grueling day at the office. Like those cups of morning coffee, however, you can end up paying a hefty price for that convenience over the long run. To avoid such potholes in the road to your financial goals, set aside some time on the weekend to plan your week’s meals, even preparing them in advance to make it as quick and painless as possible for you, even on the most trying of workdays.
Between planning ahead, technology, and a cash allowance for your weak spots, simple financial hacks can be extremely beneficial to keeping you on budget. Whatever your pitfalls might be, take an organized approach and find effective solutions to give yourself the best chance of reaching your financial goals.