Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Avoid Pitfalls of Budgeting

Sometimes this is how I feel about budgeting. Like it's a rope walkway that I keep falling on.When you've been budgeting for a very long time, it can get so.....ugh. And when you get in that funk, it's very easy to fall off the budgeting wagon. Here are some tips to help you renew your desire for budgeting.

  • Redefine your vision for budgeting You and your spouse need to take a real look at your financial situation. Why? Because you need to see that you're making progress.Gather your previous month's budget papers, the current bills due, the debt statements and the pay stubs. Then, redefine your next stage of budgeting.   
    • Do you want to continue to pay off debt? 
    • Can you be more aggressive about it? 
    • Do you have a small credit card that you can knock out quickly? 
    • Is your debt paid and you want to start saving to a certain amount?
           Renewing or redefining your purpose for budgeting helps both emotionally and mentally.
  • Do sweat the small stuff- I find that budgeting is like dieting. I can deprive myself of things for a certain period of time, but eventually I'm going to go on a sugar rampage. The same is true for myself when I'm budgeting. I can cut the coffee fund, clothing, and other things that I deem unimportant when we begin. After a while, though, the kids need new clothes. Jon inevitably needs to buy coffee at meetings. I don't want to make dinner and we eat out or pick up food. If you have room in your budget from the very beginning, put a few dollars a month into the funds that you use but aren't necessary. Those funds can get out of control, so make sure you don't go overboard. Everything in moderation.
  • Celebrate the accomplishments- If you pay off a credit card, validate that accomplishment! Celebrate with a coffee, or a dinner out. Make a special dessert. However you choose to mark the momentous occasion is up to you, but make sure you do it. This is a big deal. And when you're budgeting, axing a debt may come once every few months maybe even years. 
Budgeting is a lifestyle for our family. It gets boring, aggravating and irritating. But when I think of my options, I realize again the life I'm able to have because of this choice, is a very blessed one.

Happy Budgeting!

1 comment:

  1. I'm partial.. but WOW.. I'm encouraged! What a blessed man I am to have such a budgetastic wife!