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5 simple ways to reset your budget right now
Managing your money isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s tough to keep up with bills, not overspend and save as much as you should. And all these things can really throw your budget out of whack. But the good news is that it’s never too late to turn things around and reset. And these simple tips can help get you started.
1. Try a no spend week
It may sound small, but just seven days without making a purchase can significantly impact your finances. It can also help you better understand and improve on any bad financial habits you may have picked up.
Find a week where things are low-stress and when no vacations, birthdays, or special events are happening. That way, you won’t be forced to buy anything you don’t want to.
Make a list of all non-negotiables like your mortgage, utilities and medication. Then put a little cash aside for things like gas and perishables.
Don’t stock up on groceries beforehand. Instead, plan out your meals using only the things you already have. This will also prevent you from being tempted to grab fast food.
Keep yourself motivated by deciding how you’ll use the extra money you’re saving. Maybe it’s for a vacation, your kid’s college, or an emergency fund.
2. Take away temptation
In just one click, you can purchase pretty much anything your heart desires, which can lead you down a rabbit hole of unneeded spending. But by avoiding all the things that tempt you to buy in the first place, you’ll have a much better shot at staying within your budget.
Unsubscribe to all those enticing sales emails offering deep discounts. It’s also smart to unfollow bloggers on social media that promote item after item.
Disable autofill on all shopping sites as well as on your phone. This will force you to work harder for whatever you’re trying to buy.
Use the 24-hour rule. This means, if you find something you want, wait a full day to buy it. That way, the thrill will wear off a bit and it will give you some time to decide if you really need it.
3. Revisit recurring payments
Since they’re small and easy to forget, subscription charges can inflict much more damage to your finances than other types of purchases. So it’s really important to keep a close eye on these charges before they end up eating away at your budget.
Open a savings account that’s separate from your checking or one from a completely different bank. That way, it will be much harder to transfer and use those funds.
Set up automatic savings at your bank. This will help you avoid second guessing what to do with the money.
Save percentages, not amounts. If you’re putting in 10% of your paycheck every week, that percentage will remain the same no matter how much your income goes up in the future.
5. Find an accountability partner
Now that you’ve got your budget under control, a great way to keep the momentum going is to lean on another person. And your significant other can be the perfect choice. They already share the same goals as you, are familiar with your finances and will benefit from your success just as much as you will.
Financial planning and investment advice provided by John Hancock Personal Financial Services, LLC (“JHPFS”), an SEC registered investment adviser. Investments: not FDIC insured – No Bank Guarantee – May Lose Value. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal, and past performance does not guarantee future results. Diversified portfolios and asset allocation do not guarantee profit or protect against loss. Nothing on this site should be construed to be an offer, solicitation of an offer, or recommendation to buy or sell any security. Before investing, consider your investment objectives and JHPFS’s fees. JHPFS does not provide legal or tax advice and investors should consult with their personal legal and tax advisors prior to purchasing a financial plan or making any investment.