Do you hate to budget?

Budgeting, it seems, can be a four-letter word. As soon as the word B-word is mentioned, people start to think of all the things they can’t have, all the ways their spending will be changed, and all the ways they will have to do without.

Who wants to do that?

But if you think of budgeting as a positive, not a negative, you might find it easier to save money. Do you want to think of the lost lattes or would you rather think of how quickly those forgettable coffees could turn into funds for a very memorable vacation?

See the difference?

Here are some quick budgeting hacks so saving money doesn’t seem so hard.

1. Make It a Game

Have you heard of the people who save all their $5 bills? Or what about the people who never spend their change but instead throw it in a jar at the end of the day? Those people have figured out very effective ways to save a chunk of money quickly without feeling deprived of anything. Make it into a game – see how long it takes to reach a mark on the coin jar, for instance – and your focus will soon be on saving more, not what you aren’t buying.

2. Make It Worthwhile

Just as the coffees you buy aren’t a lasting pleasure, decide that your hard-earned money isn’t worth wasting on things that aren’t worthwhile. Would you rather spend $30 for pizzas or would you rather skip the take-out a few times so you can have a nice meal in a restaurant? You work hard enough for your money – you should make it bring you big rewards.

See also
Save Money in the Right Places

3. Make It a Goal

If you envy that designer bag at the mall, look for different ways you can budget and save for it. Can you plan your errands so you waste less gas this month? What about forgoing Netflix for a few months and getting movies from the library? Can you suggest getting together with friends for coffee instead of dinner? None of these suggestions mean you are losing anything – you still get to watch movies, see friends, and get what you need. But rethinking a few old habits can help you save significant bucks.

4. Make It Public

If family, friends, and close colleagues know you’re trying to trim costs, they might be inspired to join you. It’s easier to cut corners when the people you typically spend extra money with are trying to do the same. You don’t have to disclose details, but let them know you are working toward a goal and trying spend less. Even if they don’t jump on board, they’re likely to understand and might even have some great tips to share.

Are there other ways you can cut costs without feeling deprived?

Julia Quinn-Szcesuil
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