If you have never budgeted before, or if you have negative thoughts around budgeting, you likely don’t think budgeting can be an enjoyable experience. I’m here to share that budgeting can be fun! You can enjoy budgeting your money. Maybe not initially, but once you see the results, you will definitely have a newfound respect for it!
There’s a misconception that budgeting needs to be hard, time-consuming, and rigid. Not true! If you’ve never created a budget before, then the most time-consuming aspect will be pinpointing all of your expenses. However, once you do it once, you can update as things change. You don’t have to keep pinpointing all of your expenses, because you should be keeping track.
Budgeting can be a great experience, if you let it. I’m sharing a few tips to help you enjoy budgeting your money. These things work for me when I work on my budget throughout the month. I truly love budgeting, because it’s very enlightening. It’s also very inspiring to see what your efforts can produce!
How to Enjoy Budgeting Your Money
#1 Designate a time, space and environment to budget
At the end of every month, I set aside 30 minutes to an hour to create my budget for the next month. I sit at my desk, with a cup of coffee, and think through what I have coming up for the month. If I’m doing my budget at night, I’ll have tea or wine, and I’ll light a candle.
I make my environment relaxing and that helps tremendously. I’m not stressed, I have a routine. That designated space, time and environment-ambiance doesn’t change. This allows me to create a flow month over month. It also makes budgeting much easier. It’s a fun experience, not a negative one.
I highly recommend you create a specific time, space, and environment for creating your budget each month. You can also have your significant other join in with you. It’s always nice to bounce ideas of each other.
#2 Immediately create a tracker after you create a budget
Whether you plan on tracking your expenses in an excel spreadsheet, a notebook, or an app, make sure you create some form of expense tracking that aligns with the budget you set. You can make this fun by purchasing a cute notebook to use for tracking. You can also download an intuitive app, which makes it easier to keep tabs on your spending.
For me, I leverage an excel spreadsheet. I list all of my budget categories and color code the columns. This may not sound like fun for some people, but the organization is right up my alley! Find what works for you and make it yours. That is what will make budgeting consistent!
#3 Track your expenses every 2-3 days
You’re probably wondering how tracking your expenses every 2-3 days would be considered fun. Well, think of the alternative. Tracking your expenses every week or every other week. Now, you have to designate so much time to go through your bank history. Because, who can remember what they spent money on last week?
When you track your spending consistently, meaning no more than 2-3 days apart, you can knock it out quickly. It will become second nature. It will also allow you to see how you are staying within the limits of your budget. You will know the best ways to move forward throughout the month. This is fun in itself, because you can control the outcome of how you spend the rest of the month!
You know you only have a certain amount of money to spend on food and fun, so you can challenge yourself to stay within your numbers. You can take it a step further and come in under-budget! That is extra money that can go to your savings or towards your debt payments. That sounds like fun to me!
#4 Check your progress month over month
This trick is dual purpose! It can be fun to see how you improve each month as you check your progress, but it can also be informative. Like tracking your spending, tracking your progress month over month can show you what changes you need to make to get better. Then, you can implement those changes.
The most fun I have with my budget, is the results. Spending less than I expected, or saving more than planned, is so rewarding! I take pride knowing that I am getting better every month. If I have a bad month, I’m able to pinpoint why and do my best to not let that happen again. It’s all a learning experience, but how you implement what you learn is what makes the difference!
#5 Reward yourself for following your budget
While the results you get from following your budget is the most fun, rewarding yourself can also be a great way to enjoy budgeting your money. If you’ve come in under-budget month over month, you deserve to treat yourself! What’s even better? You will actually have the money to do so, and it won’t affect your future expenses.
Keep in mind, rewarding yourself should only come in moderation. If you go overboard and over-indulge, you are throwing all of your hard-earned efforts down the drain. This can set you back months, so be wise about it! Only spend what you’ve saved from following your budget, as long as it doesn’t impact your other goals.
It may be as small as treating yourself to an extra Starbucks each week for a month. $20 that is well-spent and well-deserved! Do what works for you and your situation, just remember the end goal. Your reward is a result of your progress, nothing more.
If you want to get to a place where you can enjoy budgeting your money, check out my online training program Budgeting to Billions. In four lessons, I teach you how to get past negative mindsets toward budgeting, understand what you need to create the best budget, and learn how to stay consistent. I even take you through a live walkthrough of creating a budget!
Budgeting can be a fun experience, if you embrace it! We all need a budget, so don’t fight it. Do you enjoy budgeting your money? What helps you stay consistent with your budgeting efforts? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts!
The CGS Team