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If you’re constantly left with a few bucks or a zero balance in your savings account, the way you’re handling your finances may be the blame. Unfortunately, you’re not alone in not achieving your financial goals. According to a recent June 2014 survey conducted by Bankrate.com, 75 percent of Americans have no savings and are living paycheck to paycheck. If you are currently in this situation, there are steps you can take to get your finances back on the right track.

Use these methods to stick to your budget and achieve all of your financial goals:

1. Refrain from impulse shopping. Resist the temptation of impulse shopping if it’s your weakness. When you go shopping for an item that you’ll need, take along a shopping list or a responsible friend with you to help you stick to your budget. Only purchase items that you have on the list.

Leave your credit and debit cards at home and only carry enough cash to pay for the items that you need. This will help you to save money at the cash register and also avoid paying interest charges.

2. Find out what causes you to overspend. For example, if you find that you’re always tempted to spend more money when you’ve had a difficult day, only go shopping when you are more relaxed.

3. Recognize what specific items are hard for you to resist. For instance, if there is a particular store or even a website where you have a habit of going over your budget, find a new location to shop. You can also avoid going to certain aisles in the store.

4. Get more organized. Use a new method to organize your important documents and receipts if the bills that you forget to pay seem to pop up after the payment is due. This behavior may have you paying unnecessary money for late fees and interest charges. These expenses can add up very quickly!

Place your bills in a place where you you can easily find it like a folder or binder. Remember to always pay your bills on time.

If you have any magazine or any other subscriptions that’s not being used, cancel it before they are auto renewed. You’ll be amazed about how much money you’re going to save.

5. Shop around for better rates. If you are satisfied with the services from your current service provider, do some comparison shopping anyway. Consider reviewing your expenses and search for ways to reduce the amount that you’re paying for services such as the cable, telephone and even your car insurance. Contact the provider, and ask if you will save money by bundling the services or cut back on features that you hardly ever use. Even though you may not receive a discount, it wouldn’t hurt to ask.

6. Nip your weaknesses in the bud. Review your expenses periodically and see if you can identify areas where you tend to overspend. The most challenging categories for most people are clothing, food, housing, entertainment and transportation. Once you’ve identified which category of expenses where you exceed your budget, seek ways to make smarter spending choices when you purchase things in this particular category.

Changing your spending habits can be very challenging. For example, if your rent or mortgage is taking over your budget, the only solution may be moving to a smaller home or a less expensive location.

7. Seek advice from a professional. If you are frequently going over the budget, seek help from a professional as soon as possible. Most financial planners and accountants offer helpful advice and you will also learn how to take control of your finances. There are lots of free and low cost advice on financial planning and budgeting online. You can also find these services that are provided by churches and local chamber of commerce in your area that offer free or low cost financial planning and credit counseling for their members.

Becoming aware of your spending habits and selecting a strategy to deal with it is the first step to reaching your financial goals. Stick to your budget and you will increase your savings before you know it.

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