Is it just me or is sticking to a budget about the most impossible thing to do? Over the years I have formulating what at the time seemed great budget plans for my year, but here we are in 2015. I had a great plan, seemed do-able, would leave me with savings, caught up bills and a good head start into 2016. And here it is February, with not one thing in my budget followed! And quite frankly, I don’t see being able to start with this intended budget until at least March and I know me, in March, I’ll be saying April! I’m so frustrated and disappointed in myself AGAIN.
Is it that I’m setting unrealistic goals for myself? Or is it that I just have a mental block of following through? I have noticed one trend, I cannot start the budget because I’m too busy trying to catch up the current bills, so the money I planned to “budget” with is “spoken” for before I’m even paid.
What do you guys think? Does anyone else experience this? Has anyone overcome the mental block? Thanks!
If you own a home I would recommend looking at the impact a HELOC will have on your current cashflow. They can be dangerous in the hands of those who cannot curb their spending, however if we are in need of a little cash to get rightside up on a budget then they can help. Plus, several times I have actually reduced the monthly expenses of my clients by doing one, not to mention that the interest on a HELOC is a tax duduction, unlike the credit cards. Learm more about HELOC at BankRate.
It could be some of both of these, which would make you a fellow human being. Unrealistic goals can be especially toxic. Budgeting, for example, ZERO for entertainment money is one common unrealistic goal I have set in the past (failed) and seen (never successful).
One possibility would be to present some of your budget goals – in whatever level of detail you are comfortable with – here. Outside observers are often able to see things you cannot, since they are not emotionally involved in the process.
One suggestion that has worked for my wife and me is canning the idea of doing a budget more than a month or two into the future. As you have said, it only leads to frustration. Not every month is the same. Some will have things like birthdays or holidays that will require more dough, and some will have less.
If you are struggling to keep up with the bills, that could be a sign of some underlying problem (too much debt? too little income? budget out of whack? Something else?).
I have been a fan of Dave Ramsey (www.daveramsey.com), and have had some success using his ideas. I think his best idea is that personal finance is mostly about behavior and attitude, and less about math (though I am a serious math nerd as well). Another great part for me is the way his radio show helps me stay focused and excited about my goals.