ETRADETIPS

How To Make A Budget And Stick To It

Why Is Sticking To My Budget So Hard?

Part of it is your fault. You succumb to temptation too easily. Is it entirely your fault? No. We are marketed to constantly. It never ends. Every company in the world wants to pretend to be your friend and claim that their products will improve your daily life, but it's all bullshit. EVERY. SINGLE. COMPANY. WANTS. TO. FUCK. WITH. YOUR. HEAD.

What are some of the factors that make it hard to stick to a budget?

  • Not enough time to sit down and make a solid plan.
  • Our fake, bullshit consumer lifestyle.
  • Going out with friends is expensive.
  • Powerful marketing.
  • Easy-access credit cards for everyone!
So, how can you avoid these temptations and other turbulent events of daily-life?

50/20/30 Budget Plan

If you want to make sure your monthly finances are in a good place, build an interactive spreadsheet to play around with your numbers and see where your spending falls in relation to the "50/20/30 Budget Rule". Basically, this guiding principal suggests you spend 50% of your budget on necessities, like rent, mortgage payments, groceries, etc. Ideally, 20% should go to your savings or your retirement plan, and 30% goes towards "fun" stuff. In the perfect world, 25% would be allocated for fun activities, and the remaining 5% would go into a short-term emergency fund. If you are a home-owner, believe me, it will come in handy!

I'll admit that reducing your bills to 50% is tough. Most people I've talked to have anywhere from 60-80% tied down in that category. In this case, the best thing to do is to find your crutches. If you REALLY want to buy a house or retire at a reasonable age, you must make those sacrifices. Quit smoking, stop drinking, eat out (restaurants :D ) less often.

Spending $15 a day on lunch seems like a small expense, but that adds up to almost $4000 per year. If both you and your partner are making your own lunches, you'll cut that food cost down to about $5 a day, if that. That's $6000/year combined, saved between you both.

Finding The Will-Power

Other than that, the only good advice I can give you is to really pause and think before you swipe that card. Do you want to continue the cycle? Is it worth it? Will it truly make you happy? Think about your storage room, your attic, your closet. It's full of shit you thought you wanted and now you don't even fucking know what's in there. If you're strapped and it's beyond your 30%, just say no.

Just say no.

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