I'm Bad At Budgeting, Are You?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Budgeting Sticking to a budget is quite possibly one of the hardest things to do in the history of ever. As you can see I changed that little beginning sentence because I can plan a budget like nobody's business. I know the amount we have in all of our bank accounts at any given time, what days our bills are due, and how much we should have by the time the month comes to an end. I keep a small Moleskine journal that I use to try and plan out three months of budgeting ahead of time. Obviously things come up so this comes with its own margin of error but by looking ahead up to three months I can set some goals for myself. Even if they are a little unreasonable, at least when I make an effort to make some progress towards budgeting and paying off some debt then I feel a little better. The thing I struggle with the most is sticking to the budget. Those shoes? I need them for that one outfit I'm going to wear on that one day. Those concert tickets? Honestly, how many times will the opportunity to see that band come up? And eating out? It will just save me so much more time than cooking. I can justify till the cows come home, but the truth of the matter is that I am really bad at creating a budget that I can stick to. I have a feeling I'm not the only college student to ever struggle with this. On top of that, Daniel and I are still getting our bearings when it comes to learning about money and what decisions are smartest for us. For any of you who understand the struggle, here are some tips that help me out, even just the slightest.

One// Buy yourself a small journal that you can bring with you to work, school, etc. If you're ever unsure if something is really in your budget, just pull out your journal and take a look. If you've set a realistic goal for yourself, then chances are you're much more likely to follow it.

Two// Be aware of how much money you have in all of your accounts at a given time. Keep track of your paydays, days that your bills are due, and any extra expenses you might have during the month. I like to plan my whole month out at the beginning, and then make adjustments as it goes on.

Three// Set goals for yourself, realistic or otherwise. Even if you can't reach your budgeting goals for each month completely, any progress is going to work in your favor in the end.

Four// Test your will power. As I mentioned before, sticking to the budget is the most difficult part for me. It's all about will power, I don't need the shoes, or the tickets or to eat out at restaurants. I'm slowly working on learning the very big difference between want and need.

Five// Don't get discouraged. So your car battery died, you needed textbooks for school, and three people in your family had birthdays in the same week. Suddenly all of your extra budgeted money disappears and you're in the same spot you were at the beginning of the month. It's okay. There's always room for error. Pull out your journal and do some adjusting, you'll be back on track in no time.

Six// When you've reached a big milestone in your goals, treat yourself with something small. You've probably made a lot of progress and you deserve that movie night out or dinner at a restaurant you've been wanting to try. This should be fun, just don't go crazy and blow all of your progress at once!

Daniel and I have set a goal for ourselves. By the end of the year, when it's time for Daniel to leave active duty, we plan to have paid off $11,285 dollars. At that point neither of us will be working right away so it's very important that we take care of as much of it as we can ahead of time. I'm hoping that by sharing on here with all of you it will give me a little sense of accountability that will help us stay on track so we can go home and have a fresh start!

1 comment

  1. I think it's good to have a budget, we do have a budget that we try to stick to and it has helped us pay off things.


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