Budgets are some of the hardest things to stick to because even though they are very real, most of us just resort to using credit cards if we go even a little bit over what we have in the bank. For some people, they don’t always have to worry about a budget, but for people like myself, I will quickly begin drowning in debt if I don’t stick to clearly outlined budgets.
It’s a give and take when it comes down to it, and whether it’s grocery shopping, out hunting for school supplies, buying a new outfit for work, or even just picking up a bag of dog food, a budget has to be placed in order to get everything done. The truth is that budgets are hard, but there’s many ways to stick to them without going over! Stick to these guidelines and see for yourself the difference a few tweaks in your everyday routines can make.
When you’re out shopping for groceries, it is so easy to get side tracked by sales, buy-one-get-one deals, or just having your kids tossing in their favorite foods and giving you the most loveable puppy dog eyes that you’ve ever seen. The most important thing to do when you’re grocery shopping is to make a list and stick to it. If you have an approximate guess at how much each item costs, you’ll be able to make a budget around your weekly shopping trips that doesn’t fall short and gives you a little bit of extra room in case some things aren’t on sale.
Eat a quick snack before you go shopping, too! You don’t want to buy too much just because your stomach wants you to buy everything in the store. If you have a list and stick to it, your budget will stay balanced and your wallet will thank you.
If you’re shopping for yourself, get rid of that specific look you have in your head. Unless you need something extremely specific, go through everything on the sales racks and look for discounted items. Yes, that gorgeous top is matched perfectly with that floral skirt on the mannequin in the window, but two weeks ago you may have thought the same thing about the plaid skirt that is now discounted in your hands on the sale rack.
Look for pieces that will match what you already have in your closet. Solid colored pants and skirts can easily match colorful and patterned tops without looking out of style. Work with what you already have instead of trying to buy a whole new look every time you decide it’s time to buy a new piece of clothing.
I’ll be honest. Shoe shopping is the worst. I can never afford the shoes that I really want, and I end up going home empty handed more often than I’d like to admit. I have really large feet and I am self conscious of them. When I find a shoe that I really love, I will keep going to the store and look at it several times before I actually purchase it. I make room in the budget for one or two pairs of shoes that look and feel great so that when I actually do purchase them, I don’t feel bad about it later.
If you have the opposite problem of buying a shoe as soon as you try it on, decide which outfits this shoe matches and if you can wear it to more than one place. Try to focus your closet into being a more versatile space. A closet full of ballgowns sure does look pretty next to those 6 inch stilettos, but you can’t run errands or go to work in them, so it might be time to reconsider where your wardrobe is headed.
Shopping For Kids
A trick my mother taught me is to never bring the kids along. If one of your children needs new jeans, a new shirt, or clothes for school, go shopping on your own with a list of their sizes and see what fits into your budget and what you think they would like. If you can’t decide between two items that are similarly priced, take them both home for your child to decide on and return the other one the next day. It’s easier for you to maintain your budget, and since your kids didn’t see what was at the store, they are grateful for a new item of clothing! I never picked up on this as a kid until I was in my late teens, and I will say that once I started going shopping with my mom for my younger siblings, I saw exactly what she meant. Other moms would take their kids shopping and be fighting the whole time because one shirt is too expensive but “mooom, it’s what I waaant!”
This might work for you, and it has definitely worked for me! Keep this in mind the next time your kids need clothes for school and see if you can stick to your budget and keep the kids happy!
Keep these in mind the next time you need to stick to a strict budget – it has saved me more times than I could count!