How To Stick To A Budget And Stay Sane
By Daksha Gehani
As always, things are easier said than done. Once you have made an effort to create your budget and finally put your finances in order, you feel good. You are taking the driver’s seat to your life rather than the other way around. However, the challenge is sticking to your budget. Having the willpower and motivation to not give in to your temptations and cling to your new financial order is very important. And most certainly not an easy feat to achieve.
So you wonder “Is there a secret formula? How do people manage to stick to budgets and keep their finances in order? What about my weird spending habits?”
These are reasonable questions to have; the answer is how willing are you! Giving in to overspending means losing the war before the battle begins.
The way to do it right and stay sane is to stick to a few necessary steps that will create the foundation, and you will be fine 🙂
- Stay true, stay real! 😎
People can be unrealistic and go out of their way to prove to themselves or anyone, how serious they are about budgets.
It’s like joining the gym, and on the first day, you perform all sorts of workouts instead of easing yourself into it as advised. Your muscles will be on fire, figuratively, and you may stop working out altogether.
The goal is to keep it simple and realistic. For example, planning not to buy any new winter clothes when your coat is “shouting replace me” is unrealistic and wishful. It would make more sense to set a goal like reducing leisure expenditure every month.
Ease yourself into this, start with the luxuries and stick to it!
- For emergencies 🆘
Life is extremely unpredictable; to be successful, you must be adaptable. Your budget must have an allowance for emergencies.
You are sticking to your budget, and the month has been great so far. Then the unexpected happens; you need to move out of the hostel and find a new place. By having an emergency fund, you will need little to no adjustments to your budget.
Your budget should reflect your lifestyle and the expected or unexpected changes that come along with it.
- Seek what resonates with you ✌️
It is human to follow a proven and successful path in hopes that it will yield the same results for you.
You need to explore and find out what method of budgeting works for you because what keeps you sane is a stress-free life (but don’t get too comfortable though!). Some people work better with detailed budgets and some work better with rather generic budgeting plans like the 50/20/30 method. Some people make an entirely different and customised plan that suits their lifestyle and more specifically, their personality.
It is essential to find out what suits you, and the best way to do that is to start with what you think is the best budgeting method for your lifestyle and adjust with time. At some point, you’ll realise you have done it. You are sticking to a budget and being sane!
- Savings First! 🏦
Automate your savings; pay for savings first.
The process goes by having fixed amounts of money withdrawn from your account every month and redirected into a savings account (FYI this savings account has restrictions with withdrawals). This way, the zeal to spend it lessens considerably. You push yourself to make the most out of the balance on essential things like rent, food and clothes.
The Bottom Line
While budgeting seems like a dandy process to help you put your finances in check, the way to remain sane doing it is by approaching it from a realistic standpoint.
Being aware of your limits and your goals allows you to develop a better budget; one you can stick to it. Consistency improves perfection.