Success is a word that has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? (Especially when it comes to finances and budgets!) Who wouldn’t want to absolutely revel in their own budgeting success? Of course, we all would!
Budgets are not as difficult as people think. Once you’ve gotten the basics of budgeting down, you’ll feel inspired and motivated to tackle your finances with purpose! Today, I want to share a few tips on how to budget successfully.
Learning to budget is a marathon, not a sprint! Slow down. My excitable personality usually throws me “all in” (headfirst!) to every project I endeavor. However, if I had done that with budgeting, then I would have become overwhelmed and probably given up.
Give yourself time and consider these tips:
- Find a budget template that is simple for you to use.
- Read inspiring articles and books full of budgeting success stories to spur you onward.
- Don’t expect to catch on and/or save money immediately.
Go with a slower pace as you begin to budget. If you rush, then you may fall off the bandwagon all too soon.
If you want a successful budget, then try to find areas to cut your family’s spending ASAP. The goal of a budget is to tell your money where to go rather than let it “push” you around.
What can you live without or cut back on? Would you consider couponing to help stretch your grocery money? Budgeting may require a few drastic measures and new thought processes.
Think of a few nonessentials that are “expendable” and calculate the potential savings. Next, make a few tweaks to your family’s spending and watch your money begin to stretch and grow. (My favorite part!) You’ll be able to put the money you’ve saved toward paying down debt or an emergency fund, perhaps.
When my husband and I began to budget, we took a serious look at our finances. We brainstormed on how to cut spending and implemented several new ideas. For instance, we hardly ever watch TV (quite expendable in our world) and agreed to cut back the channels to basic cable. Cha Ching! Money saved.
To succeed with budgeting, you must be consistent. You can’t adhere to your budget in some categories but not in others. (If you want to be successful!) The categories that you struggle with tend to be your “problem areas.”
Ways to be consistent:
- Weekly budget meeting “checkups”
- Track the money you spend (receipts, bank statement, etc…)
- Find ways to control your “problem areas” and stay within budget
Consistency is key because random budgeting won’t work long term. Your budget is simply a plan, but it won’t run on autopilot. Be consistent and work to stay within your budget’s parameters.
Cut yourself some slack and be quick to give grace. I’m my toughest critic. However, I realized with budgeting that grace is much needed. You will not always meet or beat your budget. Unexpected expenses come up and sometimes we overspend or make a bad choice. Either way, your budget will make it and so will you.
Oh and don’t forget to extend grace to your spouse and family! Budgeting together is important and remember you are on the same team. Pointing fingers or criticizing each other’s decisions will make for a miserable time and an ultimate “budget fail.”
If you want a successful family budget then grace is the ticket every time. None of us are perfect, we need time to learn and again it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Are you ready to enjoy your own budget success story? Me too! Give yourself some time, cut expenses, be consistent and don’t forget a big dose of grace and you’ll be blessed with budgeting success. Happy Successful Budgeting!