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Are you a stay at home mum or a busy person desperately in need of advice for managing your finances better? Sticking to a budget and practising frugality, are rather challenging and daunting. For some, it is part of lifelong learning while others are naturally finance-savvy because they are born with a gifted ability to handle their expenses better. So, how to refrain from impulse buying and overspending? You most certainly do not want your hard-earned savings to blow away in a moment. Consider my tips below to develop a knack that makes you more budget-smart.

Use Cash And Avoid The Cards

I find using cash instead of credit cards and debit cards an effective way to avoid spending extra bucks. Use cash when you head over to the store and keep your cards inside your wallet or at home. That way you can easily curb the urge to shop using a Master or Visa Card. It also helps to stash away your estimated budget in the form of cash in an envelope and just take necessary amounts from it for your realistic expenses when needed. It will save you frequent trips to the ATM and the need to dig up your credit card while allowing you to stick to your budget.

Review Your Monthly Budget Spreadsheets Regularly

Make sure you keep a monthly budget spreadsheet to track your spending and see if you have consumed extra on something. Use a nice money management app including simple budget templates for record keeping and check the automated reports it generates for you to be vigilant on your expenditure. Some people find it comfortable to go over their budget with their friends on social media platforms like Facebook to review their numbers and identify areas of improvement. You could also have a regular sit-in session with your spouse or a family member to go over your monthly budget. It helps when you have someone on the same team who can offer you handy feedback.

Practice Frugality

When you have a predefined budget, it is even more important to avoid unnecessary spending and impulse buying. The best way to flay the urge to buy your favourite designer label or a voguish pair of shoes you just spotted at a store is by focusing on your needs and must-haves avoiding your wish list. Buy stuff you need first and keep the ‘favourites’ and ‘expensive things I want’ for later. Spending a little every day can also add up to a large number, so a good idea is to designate a ‘No Spending’ day in a week when you avoid ordering from a pizza outlet or shopping from an online store. Cut down travelling expenses with the kids. Wear modest, live minimalist, and spend wisely.

Be More Realistic

When determining your budget, make sure you are realistic. Check out for your important needs and do not cut back too much. Penny pinching is not recommended if it means for you to eat veggies or rice every night, or wear clothes from neighborhood sales every season. Make sure you adopt a healthy lifestyle by carefully weighing out your earnings and prioritizing your necessities. Create a needs list, factor in all the expenses being realistic and a little optimistic before finalizing your budget.

Buy From Stores Offering Discount

A great way to add value to your budgeting is by shopping from discount stores. Look for special offers and coupons when shopping for groceries, clothes or personal accessories. Buy from clearance racks, and shop out of season and on holidays.

Therese has completed the ‘Advanced Child Car Seat Training Course’ at TRL (Transport Research Lab) and is a CPD accredited car seat expert. She blogs about in-car safety, car seats, tips, reviews, giveaways and advice. She’s a mum on a mission to change the law and raise awareness. She is also a breastfeeding advocate and gentle parenting promoter who loves cloth nappies, baby-wearing, BLW and co-sleeping/bed-sharing.

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