Alright. I know I’m a broken record here, but a budget is the number one tool for financial success. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. In fact, I’ll never stop saying it. Too many people forget or don’t understand the importance of a budget, so it’s my job to consistently make sure they do. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about how to make your budget a success!
There are plenty of reasons why a budget doesn’t work the way it should. Check out 5 Commonly Overlooked Budgeting Blunders to learn a few of them. Our focus today isn’t on what isn’t working with your budget, but how to make your budget as successful as possible. Check out 5 ways to make your next budget a success.
5 Ways to Make Your Next Budget a Success
#1 Create a system for tracking your spending
Creating your budget is only half of the battle. The other half is making sure that you are actually sticking to your budget. The best way to make sure you’re following the budget you’ve created is to track your spending. To make your next budget a success, create a system for tracking your spending on a consistent basis.
There are a few different ways to track your spending. Some of these ways include: using an excel spreadsheet, writing down your spending in a notebook, or using an app that calculates everything for you. I prefer an excel spreadsheet because I can tailor it how I like. It doesn’t matter which system you choose for tracking; you just need to have one.
Also, you need to make sure that you are consistent with your tracking efforts. If you only track your spending once a month, you don’t give yourself the opportunity to catch bad spending patterns early. The more frequently you track, the quicker you are able to tone your spending down to stay on track with your budget.
#2 Include the things you enjoy (in moderation)
I share this tip a lot because it really is a budget make or breaker. When you deprive yourself of things you enjoy, you end up splurging and going all out. This can undo a lot of progress and push you back months or years. Instead of depriving yourself, factor money into your budget to allow you the ability to enjoy the things you love.
The key here is moderation – you don’t want to overdo it and slow your progress. Don’t be afraid of a little trial and error. I recommend starting off small and giving yourself more for fun spending as you master your budget. This can be a great way to help you stay on track in-between months!
#3 Share it with your significant other or accountability partner
Have you noticed that when you share your goals with someone, they become a little bit more real? We take them just a little bit more seriously. The same goes for your budget. To be serious about your budget and the intention you have with it, share it with your partner!
If you live with someone or spend a lot of time with a significant other, make sure they know about it. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to share you’re on a budget – embrace it! It can also spark change in the person you share with as well!
Don’t have a significant other? Share your budget with an accountability partner or work with a coach. Sometimes, our friends enable us or may not give the best advice. That’s when a coach could come in handy. I am a budgeting coach! I help women create and stick to realistic budgets. Feel free to schedule a free financial focus call with me if you want or need the extra accountability.
#4 Develop a routine for reviewing your budget
Similar to creating a system for tracking your spending against your budget, you need a routine for reviewing it all. Not just your spending, but your budget as well. I do this with my monthly (month end) money pulse checks.
At the end of each month, I look at 3 things: my budget for the month, my spending for the month and my savings progress for my goals for the month. I look for any inconsistencies, accomplishments, or things I need to update for next month. Having this type of routine keeps me close to my long-term vision, but also allows me to make adjustments month over month
Check out my Money Pulse Checks and you can make your own budget review routine! I do my on the last day of each month, so consider joining with me!
#5 Make changes if things aren’t working like they should
If you truly want your next budget to be a success, you have to be fluid. You can’t put numbers in place and expect things to always stay the same. You need to be reviewing your budget and making changes as you go. Budgeting is a lot of trial and error until you can find the flow with your income, spending, and savings.
You don’t have to stress out if your current budget isn’t working, you simply need to pinpoint what’s holding you back and make the appropriate changes. Also, please understand that no one is perfect. There will be slip-ups with your budget, and that’s normal and completely okay. How you bounce back from those slip-ups is what really matters!
If you’re struggling to allocate your income properly, schedule a free consultation with me now and let’s work through it together!
Related: How to Enjoy Budgeting Your Money
Budgeting doesn’t have to be a pain in the butt! It can be a rewarding experience, especially when done properly. The tips above will help you take control of your budget and make it successful for you! Trust me, it’s worth putting in the work! What makes your budget a success? Where have you failed in the past with budgeting? Reply in the comments section below!