One of the reasons that it is sometimes hard to stick to a budget is that you have access to the money. It’s tempting to spend what’s in your hand, especially after a long week of work. Thankfully, technology has come a long way and you have the ability to avoid this situation completely.
Direct deposit certainly makes life easier, but you can even take it one step further. Set up an account just for paying bills. This should be separate from any other account so that you never dip into those funds. You might also be able to avoid processing fees by using a bank account to pay your bills instead of a credit or debit card.
Whether it’s your phone bill or an old debt, set up automatic payments so that you don’t even have to waste that time getting the money where it belongs. Your lender can just withdrawal it on the same day every week or month so you know that money has a purpose and you won’t be tempted to spend it.
Use financial applications to track your accounts. Most people don’t realize it, but the financial institutions that offer those apps constantly track activity. The more you use the app, the more vested they assume you are in your finances. If all other things are equal, your activity on your app could mean the difference between a lower interest rate or loan approval.