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improve your budgeting

How can you improve your budgeting habits?

Looking to improve your budgeting habits this season? Many Canadians treat the back-to-school season as a good time to reevaluate their understanding of their own finances. If you need a crash course on ways to up your budgeting game, this post is for you. Here are five suggestions that will help you form the perfect financial goals for your situation!

Make a detailed plan

In order to improve your budgeting, you need to have an accurate and thorough plan. You will find it tricky to successfully budget if you don’t have any specific objectives, or anything to work towards. The clearer your goals, the easier it will be to meet them. You can start by thinking about what you want to achieve financially. For example, you may be saving to buy a home, complete renovations, or go on a big vacation. Each of these will have different costs and timelines, so it’s important to tailor your budget accordingly. You should also plan out how long you will need to save, how much money to contribute at a time, and what your final saving amount is. You are basically creating a schedule for your budget.

Try using an app to stay on track

There are several budgeting apps you can try if you think you will need an extra hand achieving your goals. These apps use a variety of methods to help users with their budgets. For example, Goodbudget uses the envelope system, which helps you categorize your spending into different digital envelopes. Mint is another app that connects to your bank account to help you track payment due dates and your spending. Debt Manager is focused on pulling its users out of high-interest debts. You can read more about all of these apps here. Depending on your specific budgeting needs, you can find an app that targets your goals.

Keep it realistic

You won’t be able to improve your budgeting if you have unrealistic goals that you can’t reach! It’s tempting to shoot for the moon when you create your budgeting goals, but it’s also very easy to fall short if they are simply unachievable. People who do not reach their goals tend to feel discouraged and are more likely to give up. To avoid this, do your best to be honest and realistic when you plan your budget. Create goals you know you can reach, and use those as stepping stones to slowly work your way up. It can be a lengthy process to achieve all of your budgeting goals, but taking it one step at a time is much more effective than trying to make one huge leap. By breaking your budget into manageable chunks, you will feel more confident.

Be consistent

A great way to help improve your budgeting habits is to be consistent with them. Creating repeatable habits will improve your ability to create a rhythm and stick to it. For example, if you decide to put $100 aside each month for savings, that is a specific objective that you can meet over and over again. However, if you try to contribute bits of money here and there without a real plan, it’s much easier to forget, or to let it fall off your radar. Making specific plans adds a certain level of responsibility that will fall on you. This encourages consistency!

Hold yourself accountable

Finally, it’s essential to check in with your progress if you’re trying to improve your budgeting habits. While it can be intimidating to look at your bank account and analyze those numbers, you need to do it! Otherwise, you will have no idea where you are starting, or how your plan is going. Accountability is one of the biggest parts of budgeting. Nobody else is going to enforce your budget, so it’s up to you to ensure you are checking up on yourself. If you see things aren’t going as well as planned, you can make adjustments to help redirect your habits. If your budgeting goals are going great, you can take a moment to celebrate your progress. It can be hard to find the right budgeting balance, so trial and error is often necessary. 

Trying to improve your budgeting habits takes a lot of time and effort. At some points, you may feel discouraged or frustrated, but that is a normal part of the experience. Managing our finances is not always easy! The important thing is to be patient, be realistic, and be kind to yourself during the process. If buying a home is something you are budgeting for, you should also reach out to a mortgage broker! This is the best way to ensure you meet your goals and have the most successful experience in the housing market.

If you have any questions about your mortgage, give us a call at Centum Home Lenders! You can reach us at 506-854-6847, or get in touch with us here.