Part Seven in Our Series on Budgeting to Reflect Your Values
We’ve got this! We assessed and planned, and now it’s time to take action! Remember, you are creating a habit. Habits don’t happen overnight. You need to retrain your brain to think differently. It might feel hard at first, but it will get easier. Keep it up, and soon being in control of your money will feel easy and natural. Take the time now to create a habit that will help you the rest of your life. You won’t regret it; I promise.
While changing your habits and implementing a budget will take some extra brain power at first, I don’t want you to obsess over it. Money is a tool, not a focal point of our lives. A perfectly executed budget is no good if it’s all you think about.
I am a fan of taking a "money minute" every day, preferably in the morning. Maybe you do it when you get into the office before checking emails, or while you’re eating breakfast, or when you’re doing everything you can to delay getting out of bed. Log in to your bank account - does everything look alright? Is there money in the checking account for the withdrawals that are going out today? Do you have enough fun money to get dinner and a drink with friends tonight and still catch the movie on Friday? Now that you know where you are and how you’re doing, don’t stress! You got this! Enjoy your day!
As you’re in the first few months of your new budget, there will be changes, and some might feel hard. When deciding what to buy and what not to, I encourage you to ask yourself "is this really making me happier?" For instance, maybe the first drink with friends is a definite "yes" - they’re great, and it was fun to hang out with them! However, is the second drink making the experience any better, or could you nurse that first beer and have about the same experience?
Being on a budget doesn’t mean you have to say "no" all the time, or that you don’t have any fun. It’s the small changes over time that will make the difference. When you make a mistake or go over budget, don’t beat yourself up. What’s important is that you don’t give up. Tomorrow is a new day. The important thing is that you are moving in the right direction so that your spending habits are learning to reflect who you are and what you value.