Money touches every aspect of our lives. Money is tied to our home, our children, our health, and our relationships.
Sometimes, a lot of join can come with it. Often times, however, it can bring stress and tension. This is why many people turn a blind eye to their finances. If I can’t see it, it’s not a problem!
Here is how to solve the 3 most common reasons people give up on their finances.
Reason: I Know How to Write a Budget, I Just Struggle with Sticking to It
One of the most common reasons people give up on their finances is due to the challenge of tracking their budget. Writing a budget is one thing; sticking to it is another. Sometimes the temptation to spend a little more than we planned is too strong. Other times we just can’t seem to figure out a system to help us keep track of it. Whatever the reason, if you struggle with this, you’re not alone.
Solution: Get Organized
If your budget is failing, it’s probably not because of miscalculations or not enough income. In fact, the numbers are rarely the problem. Most of the time all your budget needs is a little organization.
The most surefire way to do this is to start using cash envelopes. This means writing budget categories on different envelopes, such as entertainment, groceries, and clothing. Then, put the amount of cash that you budgeted into that envelope.
Cash envelopes puts a stop to accidental overspending. If you go to the store and see a $50 shirt, and you only have $20 left in your clothing envelope, you can’t purchase the item. In order to overspend, you would have to make a physical effort of taking cash from another envelope to do so.
For those that don’t feel comfortable carrying a lot of cash around, there’s an app for that. Search your app store for “budget envelopes” and try out some of the free apps. They will give you a digital envelope to track your purchases. When you check out at the grocery store, you swipe your debit card and enter the amount into the envelope on your app. It will show you how much money you’ve spent and how much you have left.
The flaw of this option is that you have to be disciplined about entering each purchase. If you forget to log one, you can throw your budget off course.
Reason: My Debt Is Too Big
You’re staring at the spreadsheet telling yourself, “There’s no way I can pay off this much debt.” Whether you feel your income is too small, or your debt is too big, facing these overwhelming odds can cause many of us to shut down.
When the task seems too large, it can be easy to wonder if there is even a point in trying.
Solution: Break It into Smaller Chunks
When my wife and I bought our first house, we were thrilled. We constantly envisioned ourselves pulling into the driveway of our new home. While the idea of a home was exciting, the physical act of moving was a chore. When it came time to pack up all of our belongings, I found myself standing in the living room with no idea where to start. We had so much stuff and it seemed like there was no way we would ever get done!
There were two option; break the contract and rent forever, or start packing a little bit at a time. We decided to do one room at a time, one box at a time. As soon as one room was done, we checked it off of our list and moved onto the next one.
If you break your debt up into smaller pieces, it, too, will be a lot more manageable.
Instead of looking at your debt as one big number, focus on the smallest debt you have. Create a plan to knock it out and begin chipping away. You can make minimum payments on all of the other debts and focus the rest of your energy on the smallest. Once it’s gone, focus your energy on the next debt. Before you know it, the task will be complete.
Paying off debt isn’t a quick fix. It can be a long and tedious process that takes a lot of sacrifice and perseverance. After long periods of cutting our budget to the minimums, we can hit a point where we throw our hands up and say, “I give up!”
Solution: Take Breaks to Reward Yourself
It’s okay to take your foot off the gas pedal every once in a while. While being laser focused on accomplishing your goal is a good thing, you have to be careful that you don’t overdo it.
One way to avoid burnout is to consistently budget some money to do the things you enjoy. Set aside money to go out to eat or for date nights. Just like running a marathon, if you try to sprint the entire thing you won’t make it to the end. It’s all about pacing yourself. Paying off debt works the same way.
Another thing you can do is reward your accomplishments. Did you pay off a credit card? Go out to dinner to celebrate! Finally saved up a full emergency fund? Buy that thing you’ve had your eye on. As long as you put it in the budget, it’s a good idea to reward yourself for your hard work every once in a while!
Ready to give up? DON’T! Remember; every step, no matter how small, gets you closer to your goal. I can help you create a plan that will work for you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how!