My Top Tips for Living Good on a Budget

Ah, a budget. A budget is your friend. A budget is your ticket to money success. A budget is so important, yet so many people try to master money without one! It still blows my mind, but there is a stigma around budgeting. People see it as a negative thing. It’s not. In fact, it’s totally possible to live good on a budget! Check out my top tips for budgeting money and living a life you love!

I’ve been living good on a budget for nearly a decade. When I finally committed to budgeting and managing my money, so many great things started happening. I want that to happen for you! I want you to experience the good life while on a budget. So, I’m sharing my top tips for living good on a budget. It’s possible, and I’m here to prove it!

My Top Tips for Budgeting Money and Living Good

#1 – Make sure to factor in the things you enjoy

This is one of my top tips for budgeting money and it’s probably the most important thing to make any budget a success – including the things you enjoy. Life is way too short to consistently tell yourself “no”. However, you need to find a balance between disciplining yourself and enjoying yourself. When you know how far your income takes you, it’s much easier to find that balance.

To help you ensure that you are factoring the right amount of money into your budget for things you enjoy, start with your income for the month. Then, subtract all of your necessities for the month. What do you have left over? Ideally, you’ll be in the positive.

That leftover amount is what you’ll use to budget in some fun for yourself, save for the things you want most, and apply towards your financial goals. You may not be working with a lot, but something is better than nothing when it comes to indulgences! Still not convinced this is one of my top tips for budgeting money? Listen to Episode 17 of the CGS Podcast: Why Your Budget Should Always Include the Things You Love.

#2 – Have a backup plan for budget slip-ups

I’m a budget coach, and to this day, I have slip-ups with my budget. It’s totally inevitable because we can’t plan for everything. We can’t foresee everything. Sometimes, things just come up that we never expected. You HAVE to be okay with that.

Another one of my top tips for budgeting money is that you can’t let the unexpected or unplanned get you all worked up. Having a plan in place for when those things do happen can help you feel a lot better. My top tip is deciding on a budget category that can be reduced if something pops up – this usually will be a discretionary category. Knowing that you can tap into money that was reserved for things you didn’t need allows you to keep money allocated to things you do need!

#3 – Give yourself some grace

Like I said, things will pop up and throw your budget off – whether it’s unexpected or something you could have controlled. No one is perfect and there may be times where your cravings get the better of you. Instead of punishing yourself or talking down on yourself, give yourself some grace. Pick yourself back up and think about how you can bounce back.

Being kind to yourself allows you to move on without wallowing. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t hold yourself accountable to your actions, but if you have been good with your spending, one slip-up isn’t worth self-punishment. Learn and improve. Take it day by day.

#4 – Try to consistently learn something new about yourself or your budget

Over the years, I’ve come to learn that I can go years without buying a pair of shoes, but I can’t seem to go a week without buying an iced coffee. Because I know this about myself, I can tailor my budget accordingly. I can give myself a little more when it comes to Dining Out and a little less when it comes to Shopping.

Here’s another one of my top tips for budgeting money – make it a point to consistently watch and learn about your spending habits. Are there certain purchases that you can’t control? Are there certain people that always ask you for money and you give it to them? When you start recognizing how you are with your money, budget and spending, you can be more mindful to changing your behaviors.

#5 – Save for the things you want (delayed gratification is so much better)

We live in a time that promotes instant gratification…

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Of course, we don’t want to wait for anything! We’ve never had to before! However, delayed gratification is something that should be practiced and mastered – it also makes you appreciate your purchase so much more.

The best way to practice delayed gratification is to tell yourself “no” when you want to buy something instantly, and then save up for it. Not only does this help you see if you really want the item, it allows you to still get it and not hurt your budget in the mean time!

#6 – Embrace your budget to the fullest

I think this piece of advice is important in any aspect of life, but especially budgeting. If you’re going to give budgeting a chance, make sure you give it your all! If you half-ass budgeting, your results will be half-ass. With half-ass results, you probably won’t even like budgeting!

Instead of having one foot in and one foot out with your budget, dive in with both feet! Embrace your budget to the fullest and give it an honest try. You won’t know how successful you can be with it until you actually make an effort. By this point, you’ve already started…go ahead and finish!

#7 – Practice gratitude with your numbers
Rounding out my list of top tips for budgeting money and living good is this: be grateful for what you have. We all want more and we all have the tendency to focus on what we don’t have. However, to make budgeting a long-term success, you need to appreciate what you’re working with.

Be grateful for your income. Be grateful for your bills that are allowing you to live life on a day-to-day basis. Be grateful for transferring $50/month into savings, as opposed to the $500/month you want to be saving. My point is – start setting the good in your situation by practicing gratitude. Appreciating what you have opens the door for you to have more.

Good Reads to Continue Your Budget Success

#1 – How to Enjoy Budgeting Your Money

If you’re ready to give budgeting a try, make sure you make the process fun! In How to Enjoy Budgeting Your Money, I walk you through a few things you can start doing to make the budgeting process smooth and enjoyable.

#2 – 6 Mistakes Holding Your Budget Back

I’ve seen a lot of mistakes when it comes to budgeting, but none more than the six in the article 6 Mistakes Holding Your Budget Back. Give this post a read and make sure you aren’t making any of these mistakes with your budget!

#3 – How to Ditch Guilty Spending on a Budget

One of my top tips for living good on a budget is allocating money to the things you enjoy. But what if you do that and still feel bad about spending the money? I want you to read How to Ditch Guilty Spending on a Budget to let that guilty feeling go!

#4 – 5 Commonly Overlooked Budgeting Blunders

Lastly, if your budget just doesn’t seem to flow, make sure you are committing a budgeting blunder! In 5 Commonly Overlooked Budgeting Blunders, I’m sharing 5 things that can throw your budget off without you even realizing it!

If you’re struggling to allocate your income properly, schedule a free consultation with me now and let’s work through it together!

 

Related: 6 Reasons to Follow a Budget This Year

Between my tips and the additional article recommendations, you should start seeing your budget as a blessing! If someone like me (AKA someone who’s just like you), can master a budget, so can you! Give in and embrace it! Do you have any tips for living good on a budget? What do you think holds you or your budget back? Share your thoughts by posting a comment below!

-Raya
The CGS Team

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2 thoughts on “My Top Tips for Living Good on a Budget”

  1. Hi Raya, got your give away TShirt and gift card, and wanted to thank you for your kindness. I love your blog postings and webinars. I hope to soon be able to join in. In the meantime, I share your information with all that will listen or that have trouble with their own budgets. You are an inspiration and guiding light! Thank you again!

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