Do you struggle to budget your monthly finances? Do you find the whole idea of budgeting stressful. challenging and too daunting?
Well if you feel all those, don’t fret because one you are not alone and two, there are a lot ways to make budgeting fun.
Most people think that budgeting is traditional and boring. For some, it means a nightmarish spreadsheet of all your fixed expenses and then making some arbitrary guesses on how much you “should”be spending on food, shopping, travel, etc. (Girlboss, 2017).
It can be gruesome, yes and might entail some tedious work but believe it or not, good budgeting will help you a lot in the future.
Why is budgeting important?
Before anything else, you have to consider the fact that proper budgeting can be a great first step toward financial stability and independence. A budget can also help you develop strategies to reach your short-term and long-term financial goals (Lynn, 2018) whether it’s about buying a new property, purchasing an existing business or investing into some mutual funds, etc.
Aside from that, budgeting also prevents you from falling into serious debts. Most financial analysts believe that unexpected costs aren’t truly unexpected, believing that consumers know that unexpected expenditures will occur, but they simply don’t budget for them. Few people save for expenses such as birthdays, weddings, and even car repairs. They just aren’t thought of as budget-worthy expenses to most people (Lynn, 2018). By creating a well-plannedbudget schedule, you can prepare for almost any kind of unexpected expense.
So how do you make budgeting and finance planning fun and at the same time, successful? Here are some of the ways:
1. Go Tech and Use a Budget App
There are a number of good and user-friendly finance planning applications available for smart phones today. Most of them are free with some premium paid features. In general, these apps are very efficient because aside from helping you organize your funds in an orderly manner, they are also fully automated. The softwares can do quick calculations and keep record of income and expenses realtime.
2. Set your Goals
We all want financial freedom and that is basically the reason why we work our ass off and spend our entire day doing something that is profitable. The goal is to really be financially stable and even wealthy not just for ourselves but for the entire family.
In budgeting, it is also very important to set inancial goals. What is your target savings by the end of the month? Do you need to pay off a credit card balance? How much can you spend for a new pair of shoes?
Start by setting some goals for yourself; they don’t have to be big goals to start. In fact, it’s often better to set small, easily attainable goals so you can achieve them and get some quick wins under your belt (Lynn, 2018).
3. Make the Budgeting a Family Affair
You can let your parents or significant other know about your budgeting plans because they can help a lot in the motivation process. Aside from that, they can help you think of ways and alternatives in making the entire budgeting successful because they know you so well.
4. Skip The Trend
Most of us, especially girls, tend to only buy things based only on what’s hot and trendy —which color got the most number of likes, which shade was worn by my favourite influencer, where to get the old groovy and baggy 90’s pants?
Remember that the key to good budgeting is to only purchase whatever is necessary. So skip the trend and focus on your financial goals instead.
5. Eliminate Distractions.
If you eliminate distractions, you will also eliminate the stress that goes with them! Wait until the kids are in bed before you start. Turn off the tv. Tidy up the area you’ll be budgeting in. Don’t leave reminders of unfinished tasks and projects around if you can help it (Lauren, 2017).
6. Treat Yourself Every Once in a While
Of course, cheat days are everywhere and when budgeting, things can very very stressful. Consider treating yourself every after accomplishment (can be a monthly thing) and learn to fill your cravings with the right food or the right relaxation, whichever is needed.
However, take note that this could not be a frequent thing as creating and doing a budget isn’t easy and making a lot of extra expenses for unreasonable “treats”is not really acceptable.
7. Change your Bad Thoughts about Money
Try changing your outlook on money through budgeting. You can make saving money a rewarding and satisfying task by prioritizing your spendings and accomplishing your goals. Look at money as a tool to help you achieve what you’ve always wanted instead of looking at money matters as a necessary evil that you must constantly wrestle (Lynn, 2018).
8. Plan an Early Entire Retirement
You probably have a bunch of questions now. Why do I need to plan ahead when I’m still this young? How could I spend a portion of my little savings/profit for that? Why do I even have to think of retirement this early?
It is true that retirement is like an end game but as the cliche goals, it is always best to plan things early. Think of the future. Learn to save some funds for future use. Seek professional help from financial experts especially when the money involved is of high value.
9. Be Consistent.
Make the budgeting task fun and consistent. Evaluate your budgeting performance and see how you can fair better next time.
At the end of the day, remember that budgeting your money doesn’t have to be stressful. Learn to align your spendings with values, be creative and explore other options and see how everything will become different. Happy budgeting!