It’s summer, and most of us are fighting to keep our heads above the water with our very busy summer schedules. What this typically means is that the budget goes by the wayside. It shouldn’t. Here are a few things you can do to ensure you stick to the budget you spent so much time crafting.

Regularly Record Your Expenses

If you force yourself to go over your expenses every day or every other day, it will not only remind you when you are going over budget, it will be a great deterrent from making so many unnecessary purchases. In the long run, this is going to be the best way to ensure you stay within a budget. When you go out, you will know how close you are to maxing out your budget, what you have left to spend before you meet your budgeted amount, and you will be more aware of prices while you are out. I know exactly how difficult this is, but I have started forcing myself to sit down, and I quickly learned that I don’t actually need to make that last stop when I’m out, simply because I don’t want to have to make that last PIMYU entry. I will be tracking just how much less we spend now that I am making more of an effort to record our expenses daily.

Do Your Research

This one is a bit harder because sometimes we don’t know we are going to be making a purchase. You should get in the habit of researching the cost of anything that is more expensive than a small trip to the grocery store. I love shopping at Old Navy, but I always check out the price online before stopping by the store. This lets me know what kinds of sales are going on and helps me stretch the budget a little further. I also monitor my emails for deals and sales.

Ignore Those “Amazing Deals”

Especially at this time of year, retailers are trying to get people to spend money with nice deals. If you weren’t already planning to go shopping, then don’t go out just because someone is having a big sale that only lasts a weekend. Most of them will have the same “amazing deal” in a couple more weekends, so resist that urge to rush out and shop. Take the time to do your research and make sure you have room in your budget for what they are trying to sell.

Limit Your Time in Restaurants

This includes cafes, coffee, and ice cream. Yes, you are really busy, but it is not necessary to stop by for food, fight the desire for an easier meal. Eating at restaurants is one of the biggest reasons people bust their budgets. If you are more aware of your dining habits, you are more likely to stay within your set limits.

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