Most people hear the word ‘budget’ and think of it as being restrictive and boring. You’ve probably tried budgeting in the past and just couldn’t stick with it for some reason. You determined that budgeting wasn’t for you and that you weren’t able to be that dedicated to the process.
I’m here to tell you that it’s not that hard! In the past when I tried to budget, it would last all of 2 weeks or less. This is because I didn’t make a realistic budget. It was super strict and prevented me from going shopping, which as a result made me rebellious against the budget. What I did not know at the time was that I could continue to do what I enjoyed and shop, but just not as much while on a budget. Budgeting didn’t work for me until I figured this out.
Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean that you all of a sudden stop everything that you love to do and become a homebody, penny pinching bore. You don’t have to cut out all of your fun and entertainment, just make sure that you plan it out and include it in your budget. However, this doesn't mean that you allot a bajillion dollars in this category! Saving is still the reason for you to be budgeting in the first place.
I don’t suggest making a budget for the entire month because things change over the course of a month! You are more likely to break your budget and say “eff it” if it’s too restrictive and static. Try making your budget by the paycheck instead. For instance, if you get paid twice a month, you should be making two separate budgets for that month. Plans are usually not the same from paycheck to paycheck so it’s best that those changes are accounted for in your budgets. You may decide that you want to go out to eat during your first paycheck in the month, but during that second paycheck, you want to go to the movies and to a happy hour after work. Build those activities into your budget and go have fun! Stick to that specific amount that you set aside though. You shouldn’t be digging into your grocery budget just to buy an extra drink or two at the bar. Know your limits!
Try your new budgets for a few weeks to see how they fit your lifestyle. If something isn’t quite working out for you, then make the necessary changes.
You don’t have to stick with the same old budget, which makes you hate budgeting as a result. That’s the beauty of budgeting, it can be whatever you make it to be! Just make sure that you’re actually saving money while on your budget as that’s the entire purpose of them.