If you spend too much every week (or day), try this budget approach.

Logging your expenses every day will help you become aware of your bad spending habits. 

If you struggle to stay on budget every month and find it difficult to reach your savings goals, it might be time for a new approach. Setting yourself up for financial success may require taking a closer look at your spending habits and figuring out your weaknesses. You can also adopt habits that will make you more mindful about your spending choices and shopping routine.

Try these seven ways to stay on budget:

1. Always shop with a list – even for the small stuff

You may already shop with a list when you go to the grocery store, but do you make a list for everyday purchases like household items, gas or laundry services? Even if it seems unnecessary, making a list for these items can make you more aware of the money you’re spending. This in turn can help you prioritize your purchases so you can better manage your cash flow. Make a list even when you’re heading to the hardware store, convenience store or clothing store, so you aren’t tempted to buy things you don’t really need.

2. Use a budgeting smartphone app

Maybe you already use a digital budgeting tool on your but if you don’t, using a smartphone app to keep track of your budget goals can help you maintain awareness of your spending in real time.

3. Log expenses every day

Instead of waiting until the end of the week, or even the end of the month, to tabulate your expenses, get into the habit of logging your expenses every day. Request a receipt whenever possible so you can go over the day’s expenditures with ease. Or pay for every purchase using the same debit card or credit card so you can track all activity for the day online. The goal here is to become more aware of your daily spending habits, so you can make positive changes.

4. Share your financial goals

Confide in a friend, family member or financial advisor about your goals, and set up a plan so that person holds you accountable. For example, you could set up a weekly meeting, or send an email reporting any spending problems or challenges you are having.

5. Only spend money you can see

Shopping with cash can make it easier to manage your budget and be more mindful about how much you spend. When you become used to using a debit card or credit card regularly, it can be easy to forget the value of those Rand’s because the transactions are processed electronically, and you never see the exchange of physical money. If you have trouble sticking with a budget, try spending only cash for a few weeks so you become more cognizant about your purchases.

6. Refurbish and recycle

Instead of trying to make room in your budget for new items or saving up to replace goods that are in relatively good condition, focus instead on fixing or refurbishing your possessions. Household furniture, appliances and home decor may just need to be refreshed with new paint or given a tune-up. Take inventory of your home, and think of ways to update your living areas without having to buy new items.

7. Reward yourself without spending money

  • Bake A Sweet: Need a pick-me-up? A batch of cupcakes should do just the trick! Have some fun with the baking, decorating and eating process.
  • Netflix & Chill: There’s nothing quite like some binge watching and popcorn to treat yourself. So, put on those tracksuit pants, pop some popcorn and get ready to see the “Are you still watching?” question pop up quite a few times. The night is young, after all.
  • Play A Game: Play a board game with your family and/or friends for a night of good old-fashioned fun.

Oyisa United Debt Specialists is therefore committed to assisting consumers struggling to make their debt repayments and facing financial difficulties, to solve their debt problems and empower them to take back control over their financial situation.

With over 11 years of specialized experience in the debt & legal field Oyisa United Debt Specialists is committed to assisting South African consumers in financial liberation.

OUDS is uniquely placed to tend to your best interests and see that you are financially secure, which you deserve.