Every January people come up with their New Year’s resolutions. According to NBC, only 8% of people accomplish those resolutions. When we think of budgeting, we usually think of financial constraints. If we reframe the idea positively, we can see that a budget is simply a set of boundaries that help us to accomplish the goals in our lives. Here are three tips for sticking to a budget in 2019.
Set realistic goals.
Shooting for the stars isn’t always a bad thing, but when it comes to budgeting, it’s best to be realistic. Thinking you can save $1,000 per month when the reality is more like $200 would set you up for failure. We all like to succeed. Setting up milestones that can be met with a reasonable amount of ease encourages us to pursue bigger goals! Just think about your to-do list and how satisfying it is to check off things from the list no matter how small.
Let go of goals that aren’t working
We all have resolutions that sound great at the beginning of the year, but we quickly realize we don’t have the desire to pursue them. If there is a budget goal that just isn’t working for your family, then scratch it. Don’t let it distract you from the other goals you care about. For example, one year I made the goal of not eating out for three months. I was in graduate school and barely had time to cook. I put too much stress on myself by not wanting to quit. Eventually, I realized it wasn’t a failure to tweak the goal. I changed it to eating healthy no matter where the food came from which was much more realistic and worked for my situation.
Set up a reward system so when you do meet a goal there is something to celebrate. People are hardwired to need incentive. Don’t let accomplishments pass you by without acknowledging them!
My favorite reward is a Starbucks coffee. Find something that motivates you.
Don’t Know Where to Start?
If you haven’t even started your 2019 budget yet, then you should check out a few websites that make the process much easier.
I wish you all the best in your 2019 budget endeavors!
If you would like personalized help with your cash flow planning, please reach out! We would love to help you on your financial journey.