As a first time renter, there are a lot of new things that you probably haven’t experienced before, like paying bills on your own, living with roommates, and creating a budget. To help you bulid a budget and stick to it, we are here to give you some advice. Use these tips to stick to your budget as a first time renter. This will help you establish a good routine, pay your bills on time, and eventually you may even save up a nice nest egg for a big purchase!
How to Stick to Your Budget as a First Time Renter
Learning how to stick to your budget as a first time renter can be tricky. It’s likely the first time you’ve ever had to do something like this with failure meaning you are homeless. To avoid issues with your credit, loss of housing, and more, stick to these tips!
Write It Down
Most of us can benefit from a visual to aid in the learning process. Even if you are not a visual learner, it can be helpful to write down your budget plan. You will have a hard time learning to stick to your budget if it’s arbitrary, just an idea in your mind.
Use a print out like this one or create your own. The most important thing is that you have a list of all the money that comes in and all the money that must go out. Only include the necessary elements of your budget. Be sure to include the rest into savings and an allowance for entertainment and emergency funds.
Don’t Use Credit Cards
If you are trying to learn to stick to your budget credit cards can be detrimental to that process. Studies have shown that people are more likely to overspend when they have access to credit cards. If you have a credit card, keep it for emergency situations only. Using credit cards can falsely lure you into a sense of having more money then you actually have. Only spend money that you have. This goes for bills, entertainment, and even the holidays. It can seem smart to use credit and then “pay it off right away” but rarely does that happen or work in reality. You can easily end up with huge payments and interest that can create debt you weren’t prepared for. Avoid using credit cards when planning and executing your budget each month.
Budgets are not about limiting yourself to the point of unhappiness. If you are looking to save a big chunk of money it can be a necessary evil to suffer now and reap the rewards later, however, if you are just looking to budget reasonably and stick to it, it’s important to base your budget on reality. If you only allow yourself $50 for entertainment when you are used to spending several hundred dollars each month, you won’t be able to stick to that budget. It’s okay to want to cut back and limit your spending but make sure you set realistic goals for yourself.
Ease Into It, Revise When Necessary
One of the common misconceptions about budgeting is that you must adhere to it and never stray. Reality is a little more complicated than that. If you are a first time renter there are going to be things you learn as you go. Ease into the budgeting process and don’t be afraid to revise when necessary. The important thing is that you are constantly being smart and involved with your finances.
Find A Partner
If you have a roommate or a significant other who is going through this process at the same time, you will likely have more success. Find someone who can help keep you accountable. You will likely stick to your budget more easily if you have someone who is involved and invested in the process with you! Peer pressure is a big time motivator!
You can even set up a reward system so that whoever strays from the budget loses out on something or whoever does well gets a reward. Budget a little prize so that whoever wins gets to allocate that money to an activity or fund.
Make It Fun
Learning to stick to your budget doesn’t have to be torturous. You can make it fun. Work in some rewards like I mentioned above and find ways to get excited about your budget plan. If you are saving for a big trip, event, or purchase, keep those reminders all around you. Set up a space in your home with pictures, motivational quotes, reminders, etc. so that you can constantly be reminded of the “why”. If your budget is necessary just for everyday life, find a small way to contribute to something important to you. Even a small donation to a charity or savings fund can be a big motivator!