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Credit Card eZine - News and Articles about Credit Cards

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How to Stick to a Budget Without Feeling Like You’re Sticking to a Budget

[February 10th, 2017]

The beginning of the year is the time when many people are trying to do two things: eat less and spend less.

Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that people are trying to eat healthier and spend healthier, rather than just to eat and spend less. Still, when people think of dieting and budgeting – two things that come with the territory when you’re trying to improve yourself – they often think of deprivation.

To make sticking to a budget easier, instead of thinking of it like a diet, think of it like a healthy eating plan. You can still spend money – just like you can still eat – but you’re going to spend it better, and smarter. After all, you can’t stop spending money altogether, just like you can’t stop eating altogether. And who would want to? Eating and spending money are both fun. But done to excess, both can also make you very sick to your stomach.

Here are three ways to make sticking to a budget easy, and maybe even fun:

Get excited about spending money. Having a budget means having categories where you’re allowed to spend money. So instead of feeling sad and deprived because your spending is going to be limited, get interested and excited about where you will spend money. There are lots of great things to spend money on: healthy foods, vet visits for your beloved cat, a nice home to live in, comfy bedclothes to snuggle into every night, a terrific summer camp for your child. Be grateful you have the funds to spend on these things, rather than feeling angry or worried that you don’t have more.

Make it a game. See how much you can cut your grocery spending one month. Break out the crock pot and buy some dried beans in bulk so you can perfect your slow cooker stew recipe. Challenge a friend to a no-shopping week, or even a month where you don’t spend money on a specific thing, like eating out or buying new clothes. See who can hold out the longest.

Get a cash back rewards credit card. If you have good credit, you can probably get a card with 5% cash back in rotating categories, up to a certain limit. This means you could earn up to $75 cash each quarter. Remember that you have to sign up for this perk every quarter, so don’t miss that window.

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