Have you ever sat down, carefully worked out a budget, begun following it for several months and then just ditched it? I certainly have. In fact, when I was young, I must have started and stopped budgeting three or four times before I was able to create one and stay on it.
Why do people give up on budgeting?
The major reason why people stop sticking to their budgets is attitude. If you think of your budget as a financial straight jacket or handcuffs, or as a huge sacrifice, you’re almost sure to fail. A second reason why people fail is lack of motivation. If you’re budgeting because of pressures from your spouse or partner or because of what you’ve been told you must do by a credit-counseling agency, you may find it tough to stay on that budget long term. And the third factor, is unrealistic expectations. People who think that when they start budgeting, they’ll immediately have a huge amount of extra cash available are almost doomed to fail.
Work on your attitude
If you want to be successful at sticking to a budget, the first important thing is your attitude. Be positive. Don’t even think of it as a budget. Think of it as a spending plan. Focus on what budgeting can do for you. Or think of it as a tool that will help you make better decisions as to how you use your money and that will make your life easier and better.
Concentrate on your goals
Don’t budget just for the sake of budgeting. Create some short- and long-term goals and focus on how your budgeting is helping you achieve them. For instance, your short-term goal could be to pay off all your debts. Your budget would help you trim your spending so you’d have more money to pay down your debts. You would see your debts shrink every month– which could be a very powerful motivator to stay on your budget.
It’s much easier to stick to a budget when you’re realistic about your spending. For example, if your grocery bill has been averaging $400 a month, don’t budget for $200. Start with, say, $350 and see how that works. If you find you can easily get by with $350, then maybe try to cut your food bill to $300 and so on. Also, budget for you’re lifestyle. In other words, if you love movies, don’t completely eliminate them from your budget. Budget for maybe a month instead of the six or eight you’ve been seeing.
Make sure you share the same goals
It’s important that you and your spouse or partner share common goals. You might think a terrific short-term goal would be to save for a vacation to Hawaii but if your spouse doesn’t share your enthusiasm, there could be problems. On the other hand, if you both feel that saving for a two-week camping trip through the Rockies would be a great short-term goal, you’d both find it easier to stick to that budget.
Bee willing to adjust
Keep tracking your spending against your budget. If you see you’ve been spending more money than you had budgeted in several categories, don’t panic. Just adjust those categories to match what you’ve been spending and then look for other areas where you could make up the difference. Your budget should be a flexible, living thing and not something etched in concrete.
If you can’t cut your spending enough to get out of debt
If your goal is to become debt free but you just can’t see any way to do this though budgeting, call our toll-free number and let’s talk about debt consolidation. Our debt consolidation providers have helped thousands of American families become debt free in a reasonable amount of time and they can likely help you as well