In an ideal world, we’d all like to live in a palace and spend as much money as we want. In truth, most of us need to operate within our means and effective budgeting is the best way to do this. That means keeping track of your finances and demonstrating a certain level of restraint and thoughtfulness. But what are tips for staying motivated when there are so many things to buy and so much temptation out there?
The problem is that many people look at budgeting the wrong way.
Have a Reason to Budget
Staying motivated is easier when we have a goal in front of us. When you possess this, you feel less deprived of the good things in life. Perhaps you are saving to put down a deposit on your first home. Maybe you have limited income and a family to keep in food, heating and clothes. You could just want that holiday of a lifetime and want to ensure you have enough spending money.
Avoid Spending Carelessly
Easier said than done, you might say. Unfortunately, it’s one of the major reasons many of us reach the end of the month with very little in our bank accounts. According to youngadultmoney.co.uk, it’s often a problem that younger budgeters face.
Those temptations are out there and denying yourself can sap that motivation to save or spend frugally pretty quickly. Then you spend on something you shouldn’t and start to feel guilty. It can be quite a vicious circle that lowers your resistance.
In the end, not spending carelessly is about getting into good habits. Keeping track of your spending and not being too hard on yourself if you do, once in a while, fall off the wagon are important aspects to staying motivated.
Coping with Debt
Staying motivated becomes more difficult when your finances are out of control and you have too many debts. It helps in these circumstances to break down the money you have to pay into smaller chunks and give yourself little wins to keep motivation going. For example, if you have a credit card debt, concentrating on that and getting the level down can make you feel as if you are succeeding better rather than just paying off the minimum each month.
Feedback is Critical
Keeping track of your budget is critical. This gives you a clear idea of how you are spending money. If you want to save for something in particular, having a breakdown of everything you spend and where you spend can boost your motivation. It allows you to bring in solutions and it also, perhaps more importantly, allows you to see how you are doing at any moment in time. If you can see money being saved or more cash in your account at the end of the month, it does wonders.
Finally, one of the most important ways for staying motivated is to be realistic. Let’s say that you have a debt that you want to pay back as quickly as possible. You’re going to put all your resources into doing this. The problem is, the more you have to suffer hardship to do it, the more likely you are to lose motivation and give yourself a treat that impacts on your budget and starts a cycle of lower payments. Break down those repayments into realistic chunks and you’ll find yourself managing better. It’s all a question of balance.