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We all know that sticking to a budget is something we should be doing. In fact, you may even be a seasoned veteran at all things budgeting. But, for most people, there comes a time when you just don’t want to do it anymore. There often comes a time when being responsible, money savvy, and money wise both in the here and now and in the future is so exhausting.
You might think things like, “Why can’t I just not worry about it?” “Why can’t I just (you fill in the blank)?” In short, there comes a time when most people are just sick of worrying about it and want to just live a carefree lifestyle.
Of course, you know better, so, what do you do when you’re so sick of living by a budget?
First of all…
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Now, here’s what to do when sticking to your budget really sucks.
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Take a deep breath
It is so easy to blow things out of proportion at times. This is especially true when it comes to financial matters. Do yourself a favor and start by taking a deep breath.
Refocus on your financial goals, both long and short term
Make sure that these goals are still relevant. Make sure that these goals are things you still find rewarding. Make sure that these goals are something you still want to work toward. Make sure that these goals are attainable – especially the short term ones.
Don’t have any goals? Create them! (this is also something we touch on in the 10-day Budget Bootcamp)
Creating goals of any kind is something we should make a habit of because it helps us keep our focus where it should be. This is especially important when dealing with finances.
The truth is, that some financial goals are more important than others.
For instance, college funds for your kids are more important than the latest new phone if yours works just fine.
If you know where you want to go with your financial situation, you’re much more likely to get there. This is what goals do for you.
Create a small tangible incentive for sticking with your budget for the next couple of weeks
Incentives work great for kids, right? They can also work good for adults. An incentive is nothing more than a small reward…and this doesn’t have to be something you purchase! It can be something like an evening spent watching your favorite movie or reading your latest novel.
Take a break from people or situations that make you feel discontent. This could mean taking hiatus from social media or limiting the contact you have with someone who criticizes you, is focused on material things, or just makes you feel down about yourself.
Schedule something to look forward to
When things were the toughest for us, my husband was in full-time school. We decided to commit to taking an amazing vacation within 18 months of him finishing school. I found an awesome picture of someplace I’d love to go, and I looked at that picture all the time when things when living by a budget felt like it was suffocating me.
The little act of having something on the calendar that I could look at was huge. I wrote vacation in big, bold letters two years after he was to finish school, knowing that we would have a vacation by then.
Look for wiggle room
Can you find some wiggle room in your budget to free up a bit of money to allow for a night out or maybe a massage? Try to uncover some money to do something that refreshes and renews you.
Take a detour to create a small victory
Were you planning on paying off your student loans first? Have you been paying extra on your mortgage?
While these are great things, sometimes it’s helpful to build some momentum. If you can take money you’re paying on a long-term debt and apply it to a short-term debt like paying off a credit card temporarily, it can be so rewarding to see that more tangible result.
Find a way to have a small victory in an area of struggle in your budget, your debts, or your savings. It really pays off, and can help you get through tough financial times.
There are times in life when it’s hard to stay the course when the going gets tough. But, having a strategy to helping your head stay in the game is the smartest thing you can do.
After all, staying the course is the fastest way to get to where you’re going, right?
When sticking to your budget sucks, do these things to give yourself that extra push you know you need.