You feel like you’re making progress. You’ve figured out your current state, where your money has gone in the past, and where you want it to go in the future. You’re home free now, right? Wrong. It is precisely here where many people go astray. Why? Budget barriers: those things that keep you from sticking to a budget. But, the good news is that being aware of budget barriers can be the first step to overcoming them. We’ll go over three today.
To start, if you’ve never kept track of where all your money goes, you might be surprised about where it likes to go hide. Sometimes, it’s the little things that really take a bite out of the budget. But, what can you do about that?
The answer is, sticking with it. No one is perfect and you are going to screw up. But, who cares? Just get back in the saddle and start riding again. I know it was that way with me. I used to think that if I couldn’t be perfect, then I might as well give up. What a loser attitude!! It always gave me that “perfect” excuse. I tried, but I just couldn’t do it. Really?!? When I think back to that now, it really just kind of makes me sick. I can’t believe I thought like that. But, I did and, boy, was it to my detriment.
Learning to practice at a budget and get over the perfection “rule” is a big step. There is just no way that you can control everything that is going to happen to you and take money out of your pocket. But you can get a lot better at determining what realistic expectations are and planning for that. Then, budgeting and life, in general, get easier.
Another budget barrier is the perception that your lifestyle will be adversely impacted by a budget. Really? Is your lifestyle positively impacted by the fact that you are stressing out about money? Are you paying for years [think about the six year note on your vehicle] for poor lifestyle choices you made in the past? Maybe you should look at a budget as a way to get peace of mind over your money, a way to help you determine what is really important to you in your life. And, when you get good at a budget, maybe it even helps to improve your self-confidence. Wow! Maybe a budget isn’t so bad, after all!
Finally, another huge budget barrier is not knowing where to start. You know you need to do something, but there are just so many pieces to the pie. We’ll get into this issue in upcoming posts, but let’s suffice it to say that you start with the most important things, items such as food, clothing, shelter and transportation. Making sure that the family is fed, clothed and housed is key. And ensuring that the kids can get to school and the money makers can get to where they need to get to make money is also pretty dang important.