I was in my thirties before I every had a budget.
I paid my bills on time [mostly] and managed to get by without getting myself in lots of debt, but I never followed an actual budget. I always cringed at the idea.
To me, having a budget meant I couldn’t have the things I wanted. So I flew by the seat of my pants, paying my bills and buying what I wanted and never having anything to show for it. Never really getting ahead.
There was also quite a few times when I misjudged how much I could spend and put myself in a position of scrambling to come up with needed funds at the last minute.
Of course there was also the glaring fact that I was never prepared for the future, much less an emergency. I was always robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Then I married my husband…my cautious, financially disciplined husband and he put me on a budget. And I fought him tooth and nail. I felt like he was restricting me, treating me like a child. Let’s just say our marriage was not fun back in those days, but over time my attitude and outlook began to change.
I realized that this thing called a budget was actually a pretty good idea.
What I once found restricting became freeing. What I once thought stood for all the things I couldn’t have became the way to get all the things I wanted. What was once unsettling became what gave me peace.
Here are three ways I changed my budget frame of mind:
1. While I used to feel restricted by a budget, I also often felt guilty when I spent money that maybe I shouldn’t have. With a budget, I know what I can spend and what I can’t. I’m freed from buyer’s remorse. No more guilt!
2. Instead of viewing money as a thing to be spent, I started thinking of it as a tool to reach goals and fulfill needs [and wants]. I realized that I could plan for the future and have the things I wanted if I put my money to work for me, instead of working for it.
3. I realized that following a budget helped me to have an accurate picture of my overall finances. When I was spending here and spending there, I never had that. A budget insures that there are sufficient funds to pay the bills and helps me determine if large purchases or vacations are affordable. A budget lets me know exactly where I stand and gives me peace of mind.
How do you need to change your budget frame of mind?
Are you struggling making ends meet? Or, do you need to get your spending in line with your priorities? It’s not too late to jump on board the 30-Day Budget Bootcamp Challenge!
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At the end, you’ll be on the right track money-wise and have the know-how to continue on that path.