4 Questions to ask yourself about your budget

If you take managing money seriously, then you know how important it is to continue to learn and grow. You sit down at the end of the month (or however frequently – it’s your choice) to review your budget like a good money manager, then you look for ways to do even better. I love that about budgeting and it’s what I do in my own life.

Every December, I look over my budget and plan for the next year. I look at the progress I’ve made, where I went wrong, and the questions I still have. Then I plan for the next year with this reflection in mind. I always feel confident that I will have a good year because of my planning. I’d like to offer you some of the questions I ask myself when I review my own budget. Give these a shot if you want to take your money management to the next level.

Would my problems be solved with more money?

Obviously everyone wants more money. Sometimes, however, making more money isn’t necessary. Before you go for a second job that steals your precious free time, see if you can squeeze more money out of your existing budget. If you can find a way to meet your needs without that second job (or a raise with more responsibility), you’ll keep your free time to yourself. And if you have no choice but to make moves to make more money, you’ll know that it’s the best move to make in your situation.

Have I eliminated all my wasteful spending?

You can improve your budget (and save money) by getting rid of expenses for items that you don’t really need. The most obvious would be for purchases of things you don’t use anymore, such as memberships or subscriptions that you used to use but stopped enjoying a long time ago.

Keep in mind that you can resubscribe in the future if you ever decide you want to access it again. But for now, let it go. Your budget will thank you.

What else can I adjust to reach my goals faster?

If you really had to push yourself to find an extra $50 in your budget to put toward your goal, could you do it? Think deeply about how hard you’re working to accomplish your goals. I’m sure you’re doing just fine where you’re at, BUT if you want to turbocharge your efforts, dig deeper. Doing so may allow you to pay off a debt a few months faster, which means you get to move on with your life. So think about how you can move more quickly.

This is also a great way to test yourself. You’ll realize you’re capable of doing more than you thought when you meet that goal faster, and you may be encouraged to re-evaluate all your goals.

Is it doing everything I need it to do? Am I getting the most out of my life right now?

If you’re not pushing yourself to reach a goal, you’re most likely maintaining a nice status quo with your budget. How are you doing with that? Is your budget helping you to do everything you need it to do to allow you to lead the kind of life you want to live?

Sometimes we get so caught up in managing money that we manage to squeeze our life out of it. Take a step back and make sure that you’re setting yourself up for success and enjoyment. You can readjust as needed. It’s your budget after all – you need to make sure you can be happy with it. By the way, it can be natural to have these challenges in budgeting. If you ever need help, I’m here for you.

There you have it – four questions to help you improve your budgeting. This is by no means the complete list of things to think about but if you ask yourself these questions, you will see things change. Budgeting works for those who work at it. Trust in the process, keep up the good work, and you’ll see the progress you desire.

3 Things That Will Make You Better At Budgeting

Learning to manage money is no small task. The time and effort it takes to reach get it right can be daunting, and the journey can be made all the more confusing by the abundance of (often conflicting) information out there to help guide you. Despite this, the journey is well worth it. If you can stick with it, your knowledge and your confidence will grow. Most importantly, so will your options, and so will your bank account.

My goal is to help make this process easier for you. To this end, I want to share some simple tips to win with money that I think everyone will agree with. I’ll add my own overly complicated, conflicting analysis later 😉

Make managing your money a habit

No new skill or habit comes without consistent dedication and practice. In order to win at managing your money, you need to make budgeting and financial education a regular part of your life. This means making room in your daily and weekly schedule to review and update your budget, consulting your budget before paying bills and making purchases, and reading up on personal finance. You have to embrace new, positive financial habits. Otherwise you’ll keep getting the same results.

Trust in the budgeting process

Change doesn’t happen overnight. It’s unrealistic to think that all your problems will be solved the first time you make a budget, that you can go to sleep broke or disorganized and wake up a millionaire. Fairy tales like that are reserved for lottery winners, athletes, and movie stars.

While it may work like that for you (and kudos if it does), winning with money usually takes a lot longer. In that way, money management is a long-term process. So stick to your budget and your goals. You will see progress. Trust that the process is working and that you will see results over time. Keep your goals in mind and trust that if you spend within your budget, you will succeed.

Believe you can win with money

It sounds silly, but belief is key to winning in any area of life. Whether it’s getting a new job, losing weight, or, yes, achieving your financial goals, believing that you can do it will make all the difference. It will make you more motivated, more confident in your abilities, and more committed to your plan more than you would have been otherwise.

If you currently find it hard to believe that you can get out of debt or save money, let me tell you the truth: If you put in the effort, you will succeed. Millions of people have done it before you. When you focus on your goals and have a solid plan, nothing can stop you. Not the government, not other people, and not your circumstances. Winning with money takes energy, dedication, and time. You can do it. See the points above for more inspiration.

There you have it! Three simple ways to help you win at managing money. As you can see, it’s not difficult. It’s not easy, but it isn’t difficult, either. Your success comes down to your actions and your beliefs. Fortunately, you have a lot of help in this, which brings me to my final point:

BONUS: Get an accountability partner

While winning with money is your personal journey, there’s no reason you have to go at it alone. A great way to help you stay on track is to get an accountability partner. A partner you trust will help you stay focused and motivated, will help you learn more, and help you accomplish more than you could have on your own. That kind of support is worth its weight in gold.

Let me know what you’d add to this list of ways to win with money. Good luck, and happy budgeting!

5 Excellent Ways Accountability Partners Help You Succeed

Your journey to financial fitness is personal, but you don’t have to travel alone. While your relationship with your money is personal, as are your motivations for getting control of your finances, you will benefit from the support of other people. I know a lot of you may hesitant to discuss your money with others because of shame or regret or ‘it’s none of your dang business’, but one of the best things you can do is ask for help from people. You can learn so much and achieve so much more than you can on your own.

There’s no shame in needing help from others. For one reason or another, we may lose motivation, get stuck, or fall short on our goals. In those moments, having support will make sure you get back on track. One of the best ways to get help with managing your money is to get an accountability partner. An accountability partner will help hold you to the financial commitments you set for yourself, while also supporting you in your overall success. You will get to do the same for them, as this is a mutually beneficial relationship. You will help each other get what you want.

In this article, I’ll give reasons as to why you should work with an accountability partner. You will see that the benefits they provide are well worth it.

Your accountability partner will:

Keep you honest

Your accountability partner will tell you the truth about how well you’re doing. If you’re slacking off or making excuses, they will set you straight. It’s nothing personal, it’s just to help you achieve the goals you set for yourself.

Keep you on track

Your accountability partner will keep you focused on your budget and your financial goals. There’s no way to avoid your budget if you have someone holding you accountable for sticking to it.

Help you learn

Your partner will know things you don’t, and you can benefit from their knowledge. They will have access to different information and resources that they can share that will help you manage your budget and finances. You can also learn from their journey by not committing the mistakes they’ve made, while copying their successes.

Keep you motivated

Your accountability partner will understand your goals and why you want them. Thus, if you ever feel unmotivated or discouraged by a failure, they will be able to remind you of what you want and why it’s so important to you. Then, when you succeed, you can celebrate your wins together.

Help you achieve more

We have a tendency to become lazy and complacent. We may fail to work as hard as we can if we are seeing success. Your accountability partner will be able to challenge you to break out of that rut and push you to strive for more. They will be able to see your blind spots and help you find ways to overcome them. They will know when you are selling yourself short and will challenge you to work harder.

Accountability partners are truly your best resource in your journey to debt freedom. What’s more: Not only will your accountability partner help you; you’ll be able to help them. All those problems that you experience – the lack of motivation, the confusion, the self-delusion, the complacency – they will experience as well. You get to push them to grow in the same way they do for you. As a result, you’ll get the pleasure of seeing them become better and knowing you played a huge part in their success.

By collaborating with an accountability partner, you’ll get the support you truly deserve, while succeeding so much faster. In future posts, I’ll talk about how you can build your own accountability partnerships. In the meantime, if you want support in your journey to take control of your money, I can help you with that.

Good luck, and happy budgeting!

5 Signs Your Budget is working

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!