Are you finding it challenging to follow your budget?
I know I did for the longest time and it caused me to live beyond my means, always feeling too poor and too broke. The thought ot sitting down and dealing with money can feel overwhelming and cause anxiety that we all rather avoid.
But think for just a moment, that if you were to create a budget and follow it what that could mean for you, the stress that it could reduce and feeling like you finally going to get your financial act together.
For the last few years, I have been sitting down every month looking at my expenses and the money I had coming in and based on that information I would also look at what was not a necessity. Asking yourself if something is a need or a want when you are trying to create safety and security within you can feel like a challenge. Give yourself the space to allow yourself to meet your needs first and then slowly build in a budget for your wants.
Creating a budget can help you go after things you desire. Below are 7 ways to follow a budget if you’ve been finding a bit challenging.
- Remember the bigger picture of why you have a budget!
Budgets help reduce the overwhelmed feeling about paying your bills and getting out of debt. Make sure that it makes sense and that it is realistic. I would also encourage you to add into your budget “fun” time – I know that can be challenging if you are struggling to pay your bills but allowing yourself to have fun is also important.
- Remove availability!
Cancel your credit cards or just stop carrying them all together. Do you have your information stored on Amazon or any other shopping sites you’re frequent? Remove your information. It will help you think twice about the purchase!
- Find your support!
Everything works better when we have a support system in place for good support but also accountability. Find your support in online forums or in person, perhaps you have a friend in a similar situation who could use some support!
- Cash only!
Say what? Yes, use cash! When you plan on how your money is spent, take out the cash you calculate for groceries, gas and such. When you are in the store you will think twice about spending that cash – which may not be likely with a credit card. If you run out of cash… OOPS but you are out until you can pay yourself again!
One thought is that you should only carry the cash you will need. So, if you know you are going grocery shopping, take only what it is you need – use a shopping list!
- Budget Evaluations!
Schedule them! Make a time and date for them and sit down for 10 minutes to see if your budget still makes sense and adjust as needed. See the progress in reducing your debt and the extra money that is now available to feed back into the budget or use for fun spending!
Continue to look at how you spend money and where you could continue to cut on your budget. Have a Netflix and Hulu account? Perhaps you could remove one of them! Are you buying lunch every day? With a little planning and proper grocery shopping, you can save here too!
- Reward yourself!
Nothing says you cannot reward yourself with sticking to your budget! If you can follow our plan reward yourself with a new outfit or a book. Set mini-goals to reward i.e. follow the budget for one months, two months etc.
- Educate yourself!
Continue to read books, attend workshops, listen to audiobooks or seek out a mentor to help you learn more about money management. Educating yourself will help you improve your budget and progress along the way of a better financial future.
I’ll be honest with you – this used to be really hard for me but now anytime I think about a purchase or an investment I look at my spreadsheet, see what I have in the account, what still needs to be paid and what I have left over. I am super clear on my expenses and track them so that I can ensure they are getting paid.
For someone who couldn’t hang onto money in the bank, it can feel weird seeing the money still in the account and realize that all over sudden you are not as stressed out and start feeling secure in yourself to be able to live life well.