My biggest money issue is I struggle with how to stick to a budget. I’d rather choose vibes over budgeting. I try to make conscious decisions like making a coffee at home vs buying one when I’m out, but I can never stay on track. If you’ve said this before then, you are not alone. Sticking to a budget is often the hardest part! Budgeting implies deprivation, and it’s not human nature to enjoy feeling deprived.
How To Make Budgeting Easier
Creating a Budget
Even if you may not always stick to a budget, creating a budget is helpful because it’s your promise to yourself. Having a budget provides a sense of accountability. Creating a budge doesn’t have to be a one-time deal. If you find that your budget is too painful, tweak it and try again.
If you add up all of your monthly expenses and compare that total to your incomes only to find that the first column hopelessly exceeds the second. Don’t give up, you identified how you can improve current financial situation. Work on improving it. You may even add everything up and see the opposite, which will provide a psychological boost instead.
Budgeting is difficult when your income or spending is inconsistent
Like many people, my spending may vary month to month. Sometimes you’ll have greater expenses due to doctor’s appointments or weekend trips you’re taking. Budgeting requires that people set limits on their spending, so when you have income or spending that varies on a monthly basis, it can be especially hard to stick to a budget.
Sticking to a Budget
Since we are anticipating some measure of discipline and we should anticipate a few fails. Just make those fails work for you. Try to pinpoint your spending triggers. Keep a journal or a spreadsheet that notes each time you over spend or spend outside of your budget. Also note what is going on in your life at that time. A pattern might develop over even a short period, as prior knowledge of possible dangers or problems gives you an advantage.
Maybe you’ll realize that you often feel compelled to order out instead of cooking after a stressful day, You might not be able to get rid of your stressful days, but you can quick and easy comfort meals when grocery shopping instead, potentially reducing your cash out of pocket.
Be Honest With Yourself
Surprises happen, But don’t minimize expenses that you can plan on. Are you seriously only going to spend $32 a week on groceries? Wishful thinking can doom even the best budgets. As it turns out, we thrive on being reminded that we’re improving.
Rewarding yourself means encouraging and celebrating your progress as you create healthier financial habits. Don’t be afraid to use some creativity when defining your personal finance milestones and rewards. Rewards feel good. They highlight our achievements and renew our commitment. When you earn, claim and enjoy a reward, your brain gets an extra hit of dopamine, which in turn increases your focus and drive.
Starting will a budget will help you take control on your financial situation. The American game which many of us are still playing is, obtain credit card debt to build a good credit score, move the debt around to 0% credit cards while still spending more. But we’re playing the wrong game. We should be building wealth not credit scores.