One of the hardest things about going from losing control of your finances to living by a budget is that it represents a change.
It’s surprisingly tricky to make a change, even for the better, when you’re used to things being a specific way.
The process of adjusting to change is similar in many ways to grieving the loss of a loved one.
On a certain level, you’re struggling to deal with the fact that things were one way, and now they’re going to be another way.
It’s far too uncommon for the self-help gurus to recognize this change and find ways to deal with it.
You can only build a budget mindset slowly, as it takes time and patience to get the job done.
Anyone can make the decision to budget in seconds, but the reality will change over time.
As we’ll see below, there are many strands you can weave into this mindset, and the more you use, the stronger it will be.
Just bear in mind that a slower, more gradual improvement that holds is better than a dramatic one that makes for a harsher grieving process.
Make A Point Of Checking Balances
An old saying goes, “what the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over,” perhaps most acutely demonstrated on the personal finance front.
If you don’t see your account balance going down and your credit balances going up, you can ignore it.
However, this is all well and good until your card gets rejected, and you have to find out why.
If you regularly check balances, you’ll see what’s going out and what’s going in, and you can pinpoint any moments where things seem to need reining in.
It can be hard to deal with initially, but it will drive more intelligent decisions in the long run.
Always Look To Pay Less
Every single time you spend money, there is a chance to spend less.
Or, at least, there is a way to see if you can get a better deal, discount codes, or coupons to reduce expenses.
When you pay bills, it’s a good reminder to see if you can get the same service for a smaller fee.
Don’t be afraid to shop around however if you leave one company for another always check if there are fees associated with breaking a contract.
When you shop for food, there’s a chance to see if there are coupons, multibuy deals, or in-store promotions on certain items.
Even when you’re looking to bet on sport, you can visit Oddsninja.com and look for better ways to make the same bets.
If you prioritize saving opportunities, it will become second nature sooner rather than later, and you can impact the bottom line.
Write It Down For Reference
If you’re turning to a savings mindset, there will usually be a reason you’re doing it.
It can be as simple as wanting to take an overseas holiday because you want to buy a house or anything else that requires you to save a certain amount.
What will be the case is that you will have a target goal. Your goal amount should go down in writing as a specific goal you can track.
With a documented budget, it’s easy to refer back to it when you need to check data.
Keeping track of your savings is a reminder of your financial goals, which will keep you motivated.
When you have an end goal, it’s easier to do the hard work of cutting spending.
Address Why You Spend Money
All of us feel the urge to splurge periodically.
Sometimes it’s because we have a little more money than expected, or because it’s a special occasion.
Small indulgences at these times are generally OK, but if you’re spending a bit extra regularly, it’s worth stopping and questioning why.
Sometimes, our little additional spending can be related to issues like feeling depressed, anxious or bored.
It is crucial to find a way of dealing with these issues that don’t involve extra spending.
Aside from anything else, being short of money will aggravate any low mood you have at any time.
When you finally accept the budget mindset, it’s hard to go back when you see the fruits of your labour.
Discussion: What made you finally dive into budgeting and stick to it? Share your comments below.