You’re laser focused with one of your tasks until you hear a buzz from your iPhone. It’s a notification from the Personal Capital app letting you know that you’ve spent $300 more money this month than the previous. Ironically, you thought that you’d spent less money this month.
Suddenly you begin to wonder if you’ll ever commit to a budget.
This is the cycle that many millennials including myself face daily. If you’ve tried different budgeting techniques with no success don’t hard on yourself because it may not mean that you’re not committed enough. Here are 5 techniques that might help you break free from going to the red with your budget next month.
Keep Up With The Joneses
Some common advice is to stop keeping up with the Joneses. In other words, you are instructed to stop keeping up with your friends, family, or neighbors buying the same luxury items as them. This is great advice except that it’s easier said than done.
When the obvious advice doesn’t work then you can try doing the opposite. Instead, try to keep up with Joneses buying flashy items that you love. Do this for a few weeks or a month and see for yourself why you can’t keep up with the Joneses after all.
Most likely you’re going to be in the red again with your budget. This should be a wake-up call that you can’t keep up with the Joneses while maintaining an awesome budget.
Don’t Become Financially Literate
Chances are that you already know many different strategies for creating a budget. You’re not short in knowledge, you’re short in motivation or mindset. Stop trying to read dozens of financial books hoping they will be your answer to creating the perfect budget.
Instead, focus on self-improvement and work hard on breaking bad habits. Having other wins in different areas of your life can help you become motivated to tackle bigger challenges. Get the most out of your time by learning from areas that can make the most impact in your life.
Invest your time learning from big subjects: psychology, communication, leadership, etc. Big subjects can spark creativity and create breakthroughs that currently aren’t possible by simply learning more personal finance strategies.
Forget About Small Change
Some people say that becoming frugal is necessary to build wealth. However, you don’t have have to be like Steve Jobs wearing the same outfit every day if you’ll feel miserable. You also don’t have to pinch dimes and nickels for each purchase you make.
You have to practice the act of abundance and treat yourself to nice things a few times a month. Set a minimum amount of money that you’ll save each month and splurge the remaining money (after bills) on items that you simply want. After all, what’ the point in reaching financial independence if you’re stressing over how much pennies you could save on each purchase
Set Short Financial Goals
You can easily start feeling overwhelmed when you’re setting short and long-term financial goals. You’re already trying to commit to your budget and all of sudden have to come up with a game plan for the next 5 years? This can make it more challenging for you to commit to your budget.
Goals can change frequently even they’re a year long, so it can be a waste of time to think too far ahead in the future. Instead, focus on short term goals (3months–1 year).
Not all budget techniques are perfect for you. It’s easy to fall trap into thinking what others had success in will work for you the same way. Commit to one budgeting technique a month, and if you’re not seeing positive results then try a new one.
If you keep failing to commit to a budgeting technique after several failed attempts then you may want to focus on other areas outside of finance. Have inconsistency with budgeting techniques until you find one that helps you build consistency! In other words, keep trying different budgeting techniques until you find one that works for you.
Create A Sexy Budget
The next time you get notifications on your phone it will be that you’ve spent less money than the previous month, or at the minimum that you’ve stayed on track with your budget. If you’ve failed to commit to different budgeting techniques don’t sweat it. It may just mean that it wasn’t made for you.
Try using any of these 5 techniques and experiment which one works best for you. Creating a sexy budget isn’t complicated but it can sometimes require you to take a different approach. Good luck staying in the green with your next budget 😉