When people on Facebook were polled on their budgeting habits, 89% said the hardest part of budgeting was sticking to it. I know it took my husband and I about 3 months to figure out our budgeting habits but once they are set in, it is hard to break away. Here are the 5 Rules To Sticking To A Budget.
1.Write It Down
You might know approximately how much your family is going to spend during the month but the first way to keep yourself accountable to that number is writing it down. Every month, write down the amount you are going to spend in each category. Write it down and put it on your envelope. Speaking of which…
2.Use Cash Envelopes
Once you have your budget written down, pull out the cash you need for your monthly household expenses and put them into envelopes. They don’t have to be fancy, just plain old white envelopes. That way, you know exactly how much money you have to spend that month and when the envelopes are empty… you have no more to spend. This is the quickest way to learn more proactive budgeting habits and curb needless ones. So put your debit card in your wallet and cut up your credit cards because CASH IS KING!
Cash Is King!!Tweet
These are the cash envelopes my husband and I use:
Your family might have other envelopes such as fuel or any other sinking fund in preparation for a large expenditure later in the year. You can make envelopes for what ever you deem is necessary and whatever you can. You won’t be able to this for any bills or utilities but that is okay as long as you…
3.Keep Track Of Spending
Keep the envelopes simple and white so that whenever you pull money out of the envelope, you can write down the date the money was spent, where it was spent and how much you spent. If you write down the total amount in the envelope, then over the month update the total amount in the envelope, you will know at a glance what you have left to spend.
Remember why you are following a financial plan. Why did you get on a financial plan? How is debt affecting your family? What are your children going to learn from their parents financial situation? Are they going to learn what to do or what not to do? Put up pictures of the house you are going to buy or the career you want to go into. I want you to SEE yourself paying off that last bill.
Draw up a meter of how much debt you have to pay off and hang it up somewhere in the house so you, your spouse and your kids can see it everyday. Put it by your bathroom mirror so it is the first thing you see in the morning. Put it by the door so that every time you leave for work, you remember why you are going to accept some over time today. Put it by the fridge so that every time the kids see it, they know that they might not be eating from restaurants or get big expensive presents for a little while, but they will know that it won’t last forever, and as soon as the meter is full, their family will be happier. They will become your biggest cheerleaders.
Remember that you are capable of extraordinary things. Look at the people who did Debt Free Screams On Dave Ramsey. Your situation is not hopeless. No matter where you are in your financial situation, a budget can help you get to where you want to go.
No matter how much debt you have, no matter how long you have it, no matter how close you are to a divorce, bankruptcy or foreclosure, you got this. You. Can. Do. This.
5. STICK TO YOUR BUDGET
Stick. To. Your. Budget. You are the one that holds the pen when you write your budget. NO ONE is holding a gun to your head when you spend $20 a day on gas station food. NO ONE is at home, holding your children hostage, forcing you to fill that Amazon cart with junk you don’t need. You are in control of your budget and what numbers you put down. If you find out that the amount you wrote down for your groceries isn’t enough, change it. Within reason lol. I am not talking about spending $1000’s of dollars a month on food, at least not while we are in debt. Your budget is a contract with yourself and your spouse. After writing it up, you both should sign it agreeing that you will both stick to it. Hold yourself accountable and help your spouse-hold themselves accountable. Remind them of their goal and why that goal is set.
I want you to see the future that you want and I want you to want that more than you want to breathe. #financialcoachTweet
Make whatever goal you are working towards a higher priority than your want. Not just the goal but why do you want the goal. Yes, you want to buy the nice big house but why? How will it benefit your family? What is going to change in your life when you do meet your goals?
Authors Note: These are the simple and basic rules that probably apply to most of us who are beginners at budgeting. There are some bigger problems that affect budgeting that won’t be solved as simply. Such as financial infidelity, distrust between a husband and a wife, separate bank accounts or extreme financial abuse. Big financial changes only benefit the family if both parents are equally invested in the plan emotionally and financially. Whether or not you both work, the money that comes in is both of yours. You both have a say in where it goes and what should be done with it. That is why the second most common cause of divorce in America is financial problems or financial fights.
Say YES to your dream. Say YES to your financial opportunities. Find out how a financial coach can help you TODAY.