The day you set a budget, you’ll most likely have a headstrong mindset that you’re going to keep that budget, no matter what. However, as we all know, life gets in the way, and we lose track of things. Here are the top X ways to stay on top of your budget and minimize spending money.

01. Keep realistic goals

The first thing you want to be mindful of is being realistic about yours goals. That includes setting targets that are reasonable for you. If you keep setting unrealistic goals that are unattainable, you’ll end up giving up after becoming disappointed when not achieving that goal.

02. Make purchases in cash

You’ll find it much harder to use cash than swiping credit card. Physically seeing how quickly that money leave your hands, and feeling how much you have left in your wallet can act as a wake-up call in your spending habits.

03. Quit bad, expensive habits

Smoking can be an expensive hobby, both in terms of health and cost. A single pack of cigarettes can cost up to $7! Sadly, none of that money goes to the medical bills that are to come from cultivating unhealthy lungs.

Additionally, alcohol is not cheap! A single bottle of Soju can go for over $10, or the price of an entire meal. Beer can be enjoyable in moderation, but drinking out every night can take money away from your budgeting plans.

04. Avoid expensive hobbies, find money-making hobbies instead

Instead of picking up hobbies that cause you to spend money, try picking up a money-making hobby instead. For example, you can start leather-making and selling your products on Etsy. Or you can start a blog on literally any subject that interests you and make ad-revenue.

05. Share the Responsibility

Taking on a stringent budget alone can be difficult – so bring in other family members or loved ones to help. Sit down with your loved ones, and anyone who is involved with your budget, and discuss the plan in detail. By working to meet your strict budget criteria, you can share the responsbility and build a stronger relationship.

06. Find alternate ways to have fun

Having fun doesn’t always mean spending money. Try having a date at the local park, or going to a museum on free museum day.

If you like eating out, check out our tips on eating out on a budget.

07. Keep receipts

Keep all your receipts, and set a time once a week to go through your spendings. This will allow you to go through your purchases, and see how you allocated your free money. You may be surprised at how much you spend eating out or other expenses!

08. Avoid impulse buying by timing yourself

Have you ever made a purchase on a whim, then a week later realize you actually didn’t need what you bought? Next time you want something, time yourself at least a week before committing to the buy. You’ll find that most of the things you want you don’t really need.