“Do budgets really work?”
This is a question that completely changed by approach on how I discuss debt and budgeting with my clients. I was so accustomed to recommending a budget that I did not question its’ effectiveness over the long run.
A budget will help you to;
- Track your household expenses.
- Reach your short-term goals, especially if you are paying down debts.
So, if a budget system is so good – why do people struggle with it and lose their sense of peace.
I think the answer is this – it is hard to stick to a budget because we are trying to find a rational solution to an emotional problem. Have a money conversation with those close to you. You will quickly discover that it is not always about “the money” but the positive and mostly negative emotions surrounding people’s relationship with it.
So what’s the solution? Deal with the emotional side!
We need to get to a place where we see money for what is really is. It is a resource. Our primary responsibility is to steward this resource in the best way possible.
Here are a few things we can start doing right NOW!
- Each month take 20% off the top of your earnings before you pay your bills. This will remove the guilt of not saving.
- Live within your means. Sit and write down ( you can also use a money tracking software ) what your monthly expenses are. You would be surprised at the number of people who have never done this.
- Whenever possible, get back to using cash for things like grocery shopping and nonessential expenses. Debit and credit card give you a false sense that you have more money than you actually do.
- Find a charity to donate to or help someone you have no expectation of a repayment. This simple gesture releases you from the fear of lack and the tendency of hoarding and stinginess.
Commit yourself to doing these things for 66 days. Why 66 days? This is how long it takes to form new habits. These new habits will free you from the negative emotions that surround your relationship with money and move you into abundant living.