Your Budget Isn’t Working. Here’s Why.

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One day you decided to start a budget.

You decided you were tired of being broke and living paycheck to paycheck so you did a quick Google search and you ran across something that said people who are successful with their finances budget (Heck it could have been this post right here).

You found a great post on budgeting and followed the step by step guide to creating a budget and thought now I’m on the right track.

Unfortunately, you weren’t. Your money still seems to be disappearing and you don’t know what’s happening.

You’re getting frustrated because you’re still relying on that next paycheck to make ends meet.

You are so sick and tired of trying to figure out what’s going on with your budget.

You really just want to give up and call it quits.

And I’m guessing some of those reasons why went a little something like this:

  • You haven’t given it enough time. (Sorry, but It doesn’t take months to learn to budget)
  • You forgot to include some expenses. (Still after trying ten times)
  • You hate budgets. (Well why were you trying to budget)
  • It’s too restrictive. (Your budget shouldn’t restrict you)
  • You didn’t stick with it. (Evidently)

None of these reasons are why your budget isn’t working.

That is not to say that none of those things listed aren’t important to have a successful budget.

The reason your budget isn’t working and probably will never work is that you haven’t prepared yourself for it to work.

It’s kind of like saying you’re about to go run a marathon without preparing. You’ve been eating junk food, staying up late, and on top of that the last time you ran a long distance marathon you were on the track team in high school.

That doesn’t even sound right, now does it.

But that’s exactly what you’re doing.

Here is something you might find surprising: budgeting alone is not enough.

Don’t get me wrong budgeting is AWESOME. I know there are people who will argue (Let’s argue 😉) against me and say you don’t have to budget but I can almost guarantee that every person who has established a solid financial foundation has done some form of budgeting.

A budget is just one part of a lifetime long process and it’s more importantly Not the first thing you do.

Before you do anything, I mean ANYTHING, you have to do it in your mind first. Your brain literally has to send a signal to your finger to scroll down this page.

Your lack of mental preparation is the reason why your budget is failing.

You have spent your entire life becoming who you are today which means you’ve developed habits that you might not even be aware of.

Here are some habits that people often miss:

  • Impulsive spending
  • Lack of discipline
  • Selfishness (unwilling to sacrifice)
  • Negative thinking

All of these habits go against what you’re trying to do with a budget so to succeed in budgeting you need to remove some of these old habits.

That takes mental preparation.

Lack of preparation sets you up for false expectations.

False expectations lead to disappointment.

Disappointment leads to discouragement.

Discouragement leads to quitting (failure).

That’s not you!!

I used an example of preparing for a marathon earlier.

Did you know that many runners use their mind to psych themselves out? Which allows their body to go longer than they would normally think they can.

80% mental, 20% physical.

Crazy right?

Well, that’s how you have to be with your mind when it comes to your finances.

Mind over Money.

You can only achieve what your mind will allow.

Yes, you may impulsively spend. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept that.

I know it can be hard, but that’s only because we have allowed ourselves to believe that this is what it is.

Our actions are a representation of our beliefs.

Easier said than done right.

So do I expect you to change overnight?

Not at all!

But I do expect you to figure out what it is that you need to overcome.

In order to have victory over something, you first have to know what it is that needs to be defeated.

I would like for you to do a quick exercise. I have provided a printable to assist you – Self Evaluation Worksheet, but if you prefer pen and paper that’s fine too.

EXERCISE TIME

Take a moment and think about your habits, behaviors, and attitudes when it comes to money.

While you are thinking, consider how that behavior, habit, or attitude can possibly affect your financial success.

 

Finished?

GREAT!

Now those are the things you have to mentally prepare for before starting your marathon (financial journey).

And now you can begin training.

In order to properly run a marathon, you first have to train.

And guess what you are going to use to train with?

Your budget.

When someone wants to perform at their best at anything they train or practice before the actual event.

Most importantly they focus on the areas that need to be strengthened or improved the most.

So why should budgeting be any different?

But instead of budgeting like you would normally budget I want you to consider those behaviors, attitudes, or habits you just thought about and include them into your budget.

Yes, include them in your budget.

I now that sounds weird but you’ll understand soon enough.

Here’s a scenario.

Let’s say you have a habit of spending impulsively and you have been doing this since you were 16 years old working at McDonald’s.  

You see something nice, it’s on sale, and you feel you can afford it. Swipe. Not too much thought was put into it.

Solution: When it’s time for you to do your budget include your impulsive spending. Just about $40. And when you get paid you carry that $40 around in cash that way when you run into something and you just need to buy it you have the cash. But you can’t go over that $40.

This will cause you to put more thought into what you’re spending your money on. As you continue doing this your spending habits will begin to change and it will no longer be impulsive.

You are training yourself to think more before spending by attaching it to a point of focus ($40) to the point your impulsive behavior will transform into a more cautious behavior.

This is how you think your way out of those behaviors, habits, or attitudes you have developed that have a direct impact on your finances.

Pretty cool, huh?

Now if you see that anywhere else just know that Jasmine said it first.

Once you feel you have addressed the behaviors, attitudes, or habits that are truly affecting your budgets the things that you think are the problem like:

  • Not including all their expenses
  • Budget being too restrictive
  • Or not allowing enough time for your budget to work

Will not really be a factor.

That’s because once you are able to see the real problems and address them, it kind of automatically fixes all the other problems.

That’s why mental preparation is important.

Why even start to budget if you are not going to try to do it right?

Why wouldn’t you include all your expenses? (if you are following my budget steps they should be)

Before “training” those expenses that you felt you weren’t including were impulsive purchases.

Why would you not have allowed enough time for your budget to work?

Before “training” you may have thought you didn’t give it enough time to work. The truth is you just didn’t know how to prepare yourself for it to work. Budgeting doesn’t take months to do.

Why would you make a budget that restricts you? (a budget is not to limit you)

Before “training” you may have thought that you had to eliminate everything that wasn’t a necessity. The truth is you tailor your budget to fit around you not you around the budget.

Once you feel you have trained enough, to the point where you have those attitudes, behaviors, or habits under control. Then you are on your way.

You will now be able to set financial goals and create a budget to help direct you.

And guess what?

It will work.

Just make sure you are putting forth the effort.

Ok, I’m done.

But before I go I just want to say how proud I am of you for wanting more for your life. Tackling our issues can be frustrating and so many times we want to know if it’s worth it.

YES, IT’S WORTH IT.

Don’t count yourself out!

It gets easier from here.

Have joy, be hopeful, and be encouraged.

 

Let me know in the comments what habits, behaviors, or attitudes are hindering you from getting to where you want to be.

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4 Comments

  1. Dave August 1, 2017
    • Jasmine Golden August 1, 2017
  2. Shauntya August 2, 2017
    • Jasmine Golden August 2, 2017

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