27 Apr Battling Budgeting Exhaustion
It happens to all of us! You’ve created your goals, you’ve collected and reviewed every receipt and you created your budget. The first few months are great – not only did you meet your cash flow goal; you ended up doing better than you anticipated. So, you decide to take the next step and begin entering your information in budgeting software.
After the first few months, you’re doing well; however, the budgeting grind of collecting and reviewing your receipts is getting the best of you. The old dread of budgeting has reared it’s ugly head! If you’ve gone to the next step and began using quicken or mint.com, you’ve begun dreading this exercise. I bumped into an old Wealthhabit blog post by Justin Stoddart titled, ’Why My Wife & I Quit Using Mint.com’. Justin perfectly describes the frustrating sense of exhaustion that can strike all of us. You’ll notice, he doesn’t provide a solution. I have a couple of suggestions that I think will help.
Identify Your Challenge
I’ll state the obvious, there’s nothing sacred about collecting and reviewing your receipts. There’s just one reason for this exercise: to learn if your money is going where you really want it to go. At the end of the first month, you’ll know where you need to improve. Rarely is everything that you a problem. Once you’ve discovered your challenge, set weekly goals and limit your collecting and reviewing of receipts to your weakness.
You’ll soon discover that as your week goes by, you’ll just ‘know’ how you’re doing. Why? It’s easier to focus on a few items rather than trying to focus on everything. As you focus on a particular area your mind begins to automatically track your progress against your goal. You’ll be surprised how close your mental estimate will be to your actual results.
Remember, budgeting is a personal journey to help you achieve what’s most important to you. Don’t fall into the trap of blindly following someone else’s system. Use your system to become aware of your habits.
Create a Few Doable Rules
A few rules that you consistently follow will protect you from exhaustion. For example, once you’ve identified your budgeting weak spot, decide how often you want to collect and review receipts for all your purchases. Once every three of four months may be adequate. Each time you complete your review, look for any new challenges. Are you finding any purchases that are no longer as important to you? How does this affect your positive cash flow?
MintLife Blog’s article, ’10 Money Rules You Should Never Ignore’ provides some great reminders.
Remember Why You’re Budgeting
Saving money only happens intentionally. CashMap’s line of credit works best when you have somewhat consistent cash flow to achieve your goals.
The bottom line is to relax, know why you’re doing what you’re doing and stay focused on achieving your dreams. Keeping things in perspective goes a long way in avoiding budgeting exhaustion.
Ready to start your journey towards financial freedom? Get started today!
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