The 4 Ways I Stay Within My Budget

Sticking to a budget isn’t impossible, but it requires careful planning and a determination to stick to that budget especially if you’re always low on funds like I am. Luckily, I have the determination to stick to my budget. If I don’t have an extra dollar in my budget to buy a candy bar or a sandwich, I don’t buy it. It takes some will power, especially if I’m starving and on my way to the gym, but a dollar not spent is a dollar saved, and that means more to me than the candy bar.

Account Management

I look at my bank accounts on a daily basis. I want to know exactly what’s in my account, what’s entering myaccount, and what’s being subtracted from my account. I also look at the last ten to twenty transactions to make sure they’re correct, and I remember making them. This helps to thwart and prevent and authorized transactions or wrong transactions.

It wasn’t too long ago that I looked into my account and spotted a transaction for $88.88. On the day in question, I hadn’t made any transactions for $88.88. I did, however, make a transaction for $44.44. The merchant double charged me. Right after I spotted the issue, I called my bank and notified them. I also began looking for the receipt. As it turns out, I found the receipt before the bank could take action, but if I hadn’t been on top of my account, I may never have noticed the missing money. Because I was on top of my account transactions, I only had to live without my $44.44 for three days.

Bill Management

I keep meticulous track of my bills and when they are due. I also prioritize bills. My rent, electricity, internet and cell phone always have to be paid on time or early. These are things that I cannot live without. I have to have a place to live. I have to have electricity. I have to have an internet connection or I can’t work and manage my accounts. I have to have a cell phone because I have to keep in contact with my family and friends and have the option of calling businesses when the need arises.

For those reasons, I know I always need to set aside $776 a month to pay for those bills. After I pay those bills, I work on gathering money for my car insurance and gym membership which amounts to another $75 a month.

Once I have my bills paid, anything leftover is used for food, personal supplies, and gas.

Food And Personal Supplies

The amount of money I have for food and personal supplies changes from week to week. Some weeks I might have $100, other weeks I may only have $50. It just depends on what I have left over after I set aside the money to pay my bills.

Recently, I only had $50 to buy food, gas and essentials. I ended up buying $10 worth of groceries, $20 worth of gas, and pocketing the rest as cash for the week.


After I have the money set aside for my bills, I subtract it from the total amount in my bank account. I use my debit card to buy groceries, then subtract the grocery amount from the left over amount, and pull the remainder in cash at the register. I use the cash to buy gas and anything else I need during the week. When I run out of cash, I stop spending.

This does two things, it lets me know at all times how much money I have left for the week, and it limits the number of transactions in my bank account, thus making my account easier to manage.

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