You know you should be budgeting. In fact, like most people you have probably tried to but just can’t seem to stick with it. It’s okay for a week or two, maybe even a month but… well, you know, life gets busy you fall behind for a couple of days and then it’s just too hard to catch up again. You feel guilty for letting it go but after a while the memory of your budget fades and you return to your old ways. For a while it seems to be going just fine, that is until your next financial crisis arrives! Sounds familiar? Like dieting, studying or exercising, sticking to a budget can be really difficult at times. We all have good intentions. We know we could do better with our money but it is so easy to give in when faced with time pressures, unexpected expenses and new shiny things that test our willpower. Today I want to share with you 3 budgeting tips that you can use to help overcome lack of discipline when sticking to a budget:
Waiting for the perfect time I love talking to people about budgeting. I know it’s a bit geeky, some would say a bit weird. However, the reality is 15 years of being a budget coach has taught me that a good budget can positively change the course of person’s life forever. Most people know that they should budget and they know they would be better off if they did but for some reason years come and go and, well, it just still hasn’t happened! One of the biggest reasons most people fail to ever get started is that they are waiting for the perfect time to get started. I’ll often hear things such as, I want to start a budget but I am just waiting until – I have started my new job, I have got a pay rise, I have moved out of home, I have finished studying, I have paid off my debt, the kids have started school, I have more time!
I will often meet people who, despite being in a bad financial situation, are seriously resistant to the idea of budgeting. Their biggest concern is that a budget will constrain them, that they won’t be free to spend on the things they want to spend on. While in some sense this might be true, I would argue that there is no fun or satisfaction in spending money you don’t have, even if it is on ‘stuff’ you really want. In this blog I want to share with you four ways in which a good budget will give you freedom. Freedom from guilt We have all heard of buyer’s remorse; that sense of guilt that comes over us when we have bought something and know we can’t afford it or really don’t need it. Buyer’s remorse typically comes on immediately after a purchase and robs us of the enjoyment that we hoped we would derive from the purchase. When our finances are a little out of control, it can be very hard to spend money on ourselves and really enjoy it. In the back of our minds there are nagging thoughts about the upcoming (or overdue) bills and expenses. Guilt associated …
How much have you spent this week? Do you know? Okay, so have a think back, what have you spent money on today? How about this week? How much has it added up to? Do you know? If you are like most people, you haven’t really thought about how much you have spent over the last few days. Your first thought is probably – not much, I haven’t really been anywhere to spend money. But what about the bought lunches, morning coffees, take away and parking?