Saturday | November 20, 2021
Roadblock #3 – I can’t stick to a budget!
Next to dieting, budgeting might be the most failed New Year’s resolution. We start with the best intentions, but only last a couple of months, a few weeks, or even just days. Sometimes it is a spouse that is unwilling to stick to the plan. Often, the problem isn’t simply that you lack the will power; you might not have found a system that resonates with your personality. Below are several practical suggestions for you to consider:
- Sign a contract with yourself or your spouse agreeing to stick to a budget for a specified amount of time.
- Agree to periodic “check-ins” with your spouse or a friend (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly). Consider coupling the “check-in” with something more pleasant, like a meal together or before you binge watch your favorite show.
- Build rewards into your budgeting system. If you stick to the budget for a week, buy your favorite snack! If your spouse sticks to it for a month, cook a favorite meal! Make sure the rewards resonate with you/your spouse so they are truly motivating.
- Reach out to a friend for accountability. Spouses may want to consider separate accountability partners.
- Create a small discretionary spending account. Contribute to this account as part of your budget. Spend from this account with freedom and no accountability. For couples, each spouse may wish to have their own account.
- There are several apps available to assist with budgeting. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. You can google reviews to help you choose. Popular apps include YNAB, Mint, Zeta, Pocketguard, Honeydue, Everydollar, and Goodbudget.
- Pray about your budget as part of your personal/couple devotions.
- Find a system that works for you – zero-based budgets, envelopes and spreadsheets aren’t the only options!
- Are you competitive? Turn budgeting into a competition with your spouse or a friend.
- Consider including older children in budget conversations to make it more of a “family affair”.
There is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach to budgeting. Find whatever motivates you (and your spouse!). Don’t let past failures dictate failure for the future. And when all else fails … JUST DO IT!
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
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