Creating a budget is hard enough on its own, but sticking to a budget can seem next to impossible sometimes, whether you're in college, recently graduated, middle-aged, or retired. Nothing is cheap and there are so many unexpected expenses that come up all too often, so saving your money for a rainy day is definitely important. However, it's important to keep in mind that there are ways to do things that you enjoy while putting money away for the future.

Save for what you really want

While we may not be able to have everything we want in life, we can save for that new car or that new TV that has been on our wish list for quite some time.

The key here is not to spend money on things that you don't really want or need, even the little things. If you decide that a new car is more important than eating out, save the money you would spend eating out for that new car. It might not seem like much, but the money that you save will add up quicker than you think. Prioritizing your money is the only way to save and to have fun, otherwise your money winds up going out the window pretty fast.

Save a portion of your paycheck every week

If you put 20% of your paycheck into the bank every week, for example, and don't touch it, you won't even realize that you have that extra money, so you'll be much less likely to spend it than if you had it on hand.

Then, be sure to keep money for necessities like food, shelter, transportation, and other miscellaneous items. Maybe skip the Starbucks coffee every morning or make the choice to walk more if you can. Yes, budgeting does require you to give up some things, but that doesn't mean that you have to give up everything. You just have to decide what you can't live without and what you want, but don't really need to live.

The more you do it, the more natural it becomes

If you have a budget and you stick to it every week, you'll grow accustomed to living within your means and you won't miss the other luxuries you used to have as much. Of course, you should treat yourself every now and then because you do only live once, but you can't make a habit of treating yourself.

The point is, it's supposed to be a treat. It's not supposed to be an every day thing or it's not as special. The next time you're tempted to spend money when you don't need to, just think about how much your future self is going to thank you or when an emergency arises, you're going to be happier that you don't need to panic about where you're going to get the money at the last minute. There's no harm in saving some money, and there's no harm in spending some either. You just have to find the right balance for you and your lifestyle. Money might not buy happiness, but financial stability definitely helps you sleep at night.