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Do you ever wish you were a kid again?
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a grown up. I couldn’t wait for the day I turned 18 and I could move out on my own. I loved the idea of having my own freedom and independence.
A few years into adulthood, I still love being an adult. But there are certainly days I wish I could go back and enjoy the simplicity of childhood and not having to worry about bills and responsibilities.
Unfortunately, nobody has discovered that magic trick yet that I know of. 🙂
One of the most important parts of our adult lives is managing our money. For some of us, that comes naturally. For others, we resist it with every bone in our bodies.
So how do we make ourselves manage money when we would rather close our eyes and not think about it? How do we budget when we hate it or just plain don’t want to?
- Related Post: The Highlighter Budgeting Method
Step 1: Figure Out Why You’re Really Doing This
Without the proper motivation, budgeting will never stick. It will be a constant see-saw, going up and down as your mood strikes.
Some months you’ll do great, and sometimes you’ll go months on end without even attempting to create a budget.
Stop the back and forth with budgeting and decide why you really want to start budgeting this time. Is it just because you’ve heard you’re supposed to? Or are you tired of living paycheck to paycheck, wondering where all your money went each month?
Figure it out and write it down! Look back at why you’re really budgeting when you’re tempted to quit again.
Step 2: Find a Tough Love Friend
A.K.A. accountability partner. Even the most self-disciplined folks in the world fall off their goals from time to time. And if you’re reading this post, I’m willing to bet you don’t consider yourself the most self-disciplined when it comes to budgeting.
You need somebody on your side who can motivate you on those days you just want to give up. You need somebody to remind you that the sacrifices you choose to make today will be worth it a few years, even months, from now.
If you can find somebody going through the same journey as you, that’s even better. They know how it feels first hand to be in the same type of situation as you.
Step 3: Pick a System That Motivates You
It may sound silly, but the reason you’ve never stuck to a budget before may be you just haven’t found the right system.
Did you know there are probably thousands (or more) of budgeting printables online? Just type “budgeting printables” into Pinterest and you’ll see what I mean.
There are so many different ways to budget–printable sheets, notebook paper and pencil, online spreadsheets, apps, binders, planners, etc. If you’ve been trying to budget one way and it’s just not sticking, try something new! You may have just not found the right printable yet. 🙂
Step 4: Choose a Reward
Rewards can be one of the most powerful ways to make a new habit stick. Until budgeting becomes a habit and not a dreaded “should do”, come up with a reward system for yourself.
What are some things that feel super indulgant that you never really allow yourself time to do? Maybe it’s a proper bubble bath with candles, wine, and chocolate. Set an appointment with yourself for budgeting once a month on your calendar, and if you follow through with it, reward yourself with the bubble bath.
Take it a step farther–if you actually stick to your budget throughout the month, reward yourself with a pedicure or massage at the end of the month.
Budgeting doesn’t have to be all bad!
Step 5: Remember the Long-Term Benefits
Rewards are great tools to help you budget when you really don’t want to, but eventually you’ll start to reap some long-term rewards that come from budgeting too. And then maybe you won’t hate budgeting so much after all. 🙂
Think ahead to the day when all your budgeting hard work pays off. When you’ve finally got some margin between your money and your month. When you can afford to take a vacation guilt free.
Hang on through those times you just don’t feel like budgeting by thinking of the long-term benefits.
Start Budgeting Now, Even if You Just Don’t Feel Like It
Your future self–and current peace of mind–will thank you!