Budgeting can take a while to get right. It’s important to have patience with yourself and the process. It’s also important to understand that your budget will never be done: It’s a living document that grows and changes as you do. The more you learn, the more your budget should evolve. Additionally, your budget should change with your life’s circumstances. A new job, living situation, goal – these should all cause you to adjust your budget.
Your budget is a tool to be sharpened, not left in the corner to collect dust. Don’t become complacent and let it stagnate. That’s a surefire way to fail.
All of this may leave you feeling discouraged.
I started this to take control and find peace!
I can understand that. After all, you are motivated to make changes and you want to see the fruits of your labor. It takes time to form new habits and set your budget for success. If you’re feeling this way, stop and take a look around. I can assure you the signs of your progress are there. Success leaves clues, and there are bound to be signs that you are succeeding with your budget. See if any of these seem familiar.
Your budget is lean and optimized
All your money is being spent in ways that most help you meet your goals. You’ve gotten rid of all the expenses you no longer need or use (old memberships and subscriptions, etc.).
You consistently pay all your bills on time
You’ve budgeted the right amount of money at the right times to make sure all your bills are paid each month. You don’t have to worry that you won’t have the money to cover a payment; you’ve planned ahead to know exactly how much you need and when.
You are able to pay off your debt
You’re able to pay off your debts while successfully managing your other bills and financial obligations. You’ve organized your budget so that you can pay more than the minimum balance of your debts. How much more you pay depends on you, but you know that if you keep working at it you’ll pay them all off.
You enjoy reviewing your budget
You feel pleased with where you’re at financially because you’re seeing progress. You’ve bought into the fact that your budget is a benefit to your life and you’re more than happy to look over your budget and see it working its magic.
You feel less stressed about money
You’re paying your bills on time. You’re slowly but surely meeting your financial goals. You’re happy with where you are at the moment and you know that, with time, you’ll get everything you want. You feel more relaxed knowing that all your financial actions are part of a grander financial plan. You know that your money is being used in a way that benefits your life, and that your actions today will set future-you up for success. You get to walk around with confidence knowing your actions are taking you where you want to go.
From here, you know you can make more money and it will help you work your plan even more. You’re organized and focused, and that additional money will help you get there even faster.
It may take a while for you to realize all of these benefits, but stick with it. It will be worth the time you put into it when your budget starts working for you. Trust in the process and keep up the good work.
Good luck and happy budgeting!