Making a budget can be quite a task and completing your budget can be quite satisfying, especially if you’re making a budget to help you set some long term financial goals. It can create stability within your household, as you know exactly what is coming in and what is going out, plus you can start to make a dent in your long term plans.
But, I get lots of search traffic to The Frugal Cottage asking how to stick to a budget.
You can have the most perfect budget, down to the penny if that’s your goal, but in reality, budgets can be tricky to stick to. Maybe you’ve made some categories a little lean, or you’ve forgotten to add in some extras that always creep in every month and perhaps need their own category. There can be unexpected expenses that crop up that need to be paid for immediately (which is why you should start an Emergency Fund if you don’t already have one!) and the birthdays and celebrations that happen along the way.
Related post: How To Make A Budget
Related Post: How Our Budget Works + A Free Budget Template!
The One Simple Trick To Successful Budgeting.
In the end, if you honestly want to stick to your budget, it all comes down to your attitude. You need to believe that you can do it, and also be mindfully aware of when you are going over budget, or are precariously close to the wire. If you want to stick to your budget, so that you can add to your savings, go on a nice holiday or decorate the spare bedroom, then you need to exercise a little self control and stay positive. It means believing in yourself and in your own will power, if needs be.
A positive mindset goes a long way.
If you start with a budget believing that you’re set up for failure from the very beginning, then you will fail. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy; you believe that you’re going to fail, so you inevitably do because your mindset is that of failing. Also, don’t see a budget as a restriction, see it as a tool. It might sound a little cheesy, but if you try and think positively about something, then you will succeed. If you start off with your budget thinking that it’s a great thing to do, that it’s going to be really helpful and potentially change your life, you are much more likely to start off strong and continue that way.
I’m not saying that there won’t be hiccups along the way, far from it. Heck, if a positive mindset was all that I needed to lose weight, then I’d have lost the 30lbs I want to already! 😉 If only it was that simple. But it can be. Everybody knows what they need to do to stick to a budget. You know what to do to become successful at budgeting. The reality is, you spend less than you earn. You as a single person, you as a couple or you as a family, you all need to, overall, spend less than you earn.
How you can succeed with your budget.
I have written quite a bit about budgeting on The Frugal Cottage, in the hopes that it may be of some use to someone. I’m a big fan of having a general budget for our household, as I believe it keeps us on track. The combination of being honest about what you spend, the right attitude, a positive mindset and not being disappointed if things don’t go exactly to plan means that you will succeed with your budget, and become a successful budgeter.
Are you successful at budgeting? If not, what do you struggle with?