Easy Budgeting Tips So You Can Splurge on What You Really Want

Picture this. Your best friend just invited you on a trip to Hawaii. You’re excited to visit the beach, but your bank account isn’t as pumped. While you want to go, you’re not sure how you can make the trip in a financially responsible way. This leaves you frantically selling your stuff online to earn a little extra cash.

Take a breather and get off eBay. There’s a better way to budget for your financial goals. Whether you’re ready for a vacation or looking to upgrade your car, finding the money for indulgent purchases can be challenging. Consider the following tips if you need help saving for a splurge.

Set SMART Goals

You’ve probably heard the saying, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” This rings especially true when it comes to your finances. That’s why it’s important to set SMART goals.

SMART goals aren’t just daydreams. They help turn your wishful thinking into concrete plans. The SMART acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Keeping these five principles in mind helps you create a savings approach that is tailored to your specific needs. This increases your chances of sipping mojitos in Hanalei over staying stuck at home.

Use a Debit Card

When you reach into your wallet to make a purchase, do you use your debit card or your credit card? If you answer the latter, you may be costing yourself more money. For many people, credit cards make it easy to overspend. Knowing you have extra credit can tempt you to make purchases you can’t afford. Once you add credit card interest on top of the item’s purchase price, you’re spending a lot of extra money.

Using a debit card can help prevent overspending because you can only use money you already have. If you accidentally overspend, you’ll pay an overdraft fee. But that’s far cheaper than the cost of compounding credit card interest.

Automate Your Savings

Let’s be honest. It’s hard to save money. But if you’re planning an expensive splurge, it’s a necessity.

Consistent saving is key to reaching your financial goals, and automation can help you get there. Automating your monthly savings reduces the temptation to overspend by automatically removing money from your checking each month. That way, you don’t accidentally spend your savings on impulse purchases.

Before you begin automating your savings, consult your SMART goal. This goal should outline how much you need to save each month. Next, check to ensure your savings account doesn’t have a monthly maintenance fee. Such fees can eat away at your hard-earned savings.

Snag a Side Hustle

You’ll be able to save more money if you make more money. This doesn’t mean you have to quit your 9-to-5 in search of better pay. Instead, snag a side hustle that you can do on evenings and weekends.

As the cost of living increases, more people are turning to side hustles for extra cash. For most, this additional income is significant, with the average side hustler earning an extra $1,122 per month. Furthermore, side hustles allow you to explore your passions. For example, if you love animals, dog walking could be a great source of income.

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Use Digital Coupons

When you think about coupons, an image of your grandma cutting little squares from the newspaper probably comes to mind. However, the online world has recently given coupons an upgrade. Digital coupons are the new paper-free way to get discounts at your favorite stores.

For online shoppers, money-saving browser extensions automatically apply coupons to your digital purchases. If you spend more time shopping in person, stores like Target and Walgreens have apps that house a plethora of discounts. Wherever you shop, there’s likely a digital coupon that can help you save some serious cash. So do your research before making a purchase.

Make Some Temporary Cuts

If you’re struggling to hit your savings goals, it may be time to cut back on the nonessentials. Drinks with friends and trips to the salon can quickly add hundreds of dollars to your monthly expenses. You don’t need to cut these indulgences from your life forever. Simply pause extra spending until you’ve reached your goals.

While cutting spending may sound boring, there are a few ways to make it fun. Instead of hitting the bar on a Friday night, offer to host a potluck cocktail hour at your house. Ask every guest to contribute a bottle so the cost of your mixology spree is shared. Or try skipping the expensive yoga class and see whether your friends want to meet for a walk in the park.

Plan “No-Spend” Days

Even when you’re trying to be financially frugal, the occasional latte or vending machine purchase can creep in. These sneaky offenders might not seem like much, but the cost of these purchases adds up over time. To help combat this, schedule at least one “no-spend day” per week.

No-spend days force you to avoid all but absolutely necessary purchases for 24 hours. This encourages you to use your existing resources instead of buying things you don’t need. Over time, this can help you save a substantial amount of money.

Whether you’re planning a vacation or hoping to redecorate your house, saving can help you prepare for big purchases. If you foresee a splurge in your future, start implementing the above tips today.