This next tip is pretty simple, so I figured I could do two tonight:
Shop with cash only. You are much less likely to make impulse purchases if you only have $x to spend. This also adds an element of challenge to your shopping - how low can you go and still feed your family nutritious meals??
If you only take your cash to the store, and leave the credit cards and checkbook at home, then you can only spend what you have. How easy is that?? You just have to go in with the right mindset - think of it as a challenge! Go with a list and know what you need, and then only buy what you need and/or can afford.
A debit card is NOT the same thing, even if you think it is. Only cash can completely limit your spending, and if you're serious about sticking to your budget, then get serious about cash. See what you can get with the money that you have. You won't be able to go over budget since you are carrying what you can spend, so you will be acutely aware of every penny you spend. This might even help keep your purchase healthier. You might not be able to get that half gallon of ice cream, or those yummy-looking donuts, or even a candy bar at the checkout. If you can't afford the junk food, your body will thank you!
It won't be an easy transition, but cash spending will be a great benefit to you and your budget. Give it a try for a month and see how you do. You just might be pleasantly surprised!
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