It is time to get serious about your financial goals and make a budget that works. Here are the 3 Best Steps to Make a Budget You Can Stick With!
LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE
Making changes in your life are hard, especially when you making serious changes. Trying to get your finances in order is a total mind shift and physical shift. We create habits whether we are conscious of them or not. You subconsciously want to stop every time you see a Starbucks and grab your favorite latte (at least I know I do). Habits like that are examples of a physical and financial habit. If every day at 2 pm you go to the break room to get a snack out of the vending machine, that is a mental and physical habit you have to break.
The cure to breaking those habits is dreaming. Sounds crazy right? Your dreams are the catalyst for change in your life.
You have to take it a step further and write your dreams out on paper. Once you have them written down, you have to believe your dreams can come true. Make sure what you write down are things you want for you life, even the things you think impossible. While writing them think of things like, what does success and happiness look like for you? The answer is what you use to make your life plan.
The planning and believing allows you to have a plan for your money as well. Most of your plans will involve a financial aspect. Plan it to the T, be realistic about how long each part of your plan will take, and how much money. Planning for you future will let you know how much money you need put to the side to accomplish this goal. So when you want to revert back to your old spending habits you realize how every dollar spent elsewhere keeps you from your goals. For instance, if you want to travel a month out of each year, calculate how much money you would need to do that. How is that for inspiration?!
FOCUSING ON ONE GOAL AT A TIME
There are many things you can do with your money. Save for your kids college fund, save for retirement, save to expand your house, or invest in stocks. Truth be told you can't do all those things at once. Correction, you can't do those things all at once and make head way in one area. The best way to make a budget that works is to stick with one goal.
For instance, my main budget goal is to cover all my bills plus paying off debt. You don't want to get overwhelmed and stretch your money too thin. Focus on one big goal at a time. If all your extra money goes towards debt, you will see quicker results. If you have your money going into so many pots all at once, you won't make a dent in anything for years to come.
GETTING AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER
Making a budget is a plan of action for your money. It is a step by step guide for you to follow daily. Although it requires discipline, we all have moments where we fall short. You need an accountability partner. If you are in a relationship, this can be your partner. You guys need to sit down and get on one accord with your budget. You are on the journey together, so you can give the other a nudge when needed. If you don't have a partner, find someone close to you as your accountability partner. When you are having a weak moment, and want to revert back to your old habits, talk with your accountability partner. Make sure it is someone you are willing to disclose financial information with. Sometimes just having that conversation is enough to get you back on track! At the end of the day, you have the control to make a budget that works for you! Just equip yourself with tools that work for you!
Share and comment below and let me know what you think will help you make a budget that works?