For many people, the word ‘budget’ makes them cringe. It conjures up images of penny-pinching, self-denial and not having any fun. But budgeting doesn’t have to be a boring chore. In fact, it shouldn’t be! Planning and managing a budget should actually be something you look forward to doing, because it can help you reach your financial goals. If you stay away from budgeting because you think it’s boring, here are five ways to make budgeting more fun:
Successful budgeting requires goal setting, and to set a goal, you must have a vision of what you want to accomplish. Allow yourself to dream bigl, such as buying a home or traveling for an extended period of time. Nurturing that dream of what you ultimately want to accomplish, and understanding that sticking to a budget will help you get there, is sure to make budgeting seem less like a chore.
Celebrate Small Achievements
It’s going to take you a while to reach your ultimate goal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate small milestones along the way. Every month, set smaller goals that you can realistically achieve, and celebrate them when you do. They can be things as simple as setting up all your bills on auto-pay so you never miss a payment, paying more than the minimum payment due on every bill every month, or reducing the number of times you order take-out.
Learn Something New
Cutting costs to meet your budget often means changing your behavior, which is never easy. But when you proactively replace old habits by learning something new, it’s going to be a lot more fun. For example, if you need to stop dining out so often, learn to cook your favorite restaurant meals at home. If you spend too much on clothing every month, start shopping at thrift or discount stores and learn how to alter your finds so they look like they were made just for you.
Even with the best intentions and well-planned goals, it can be challenging to stick to a budget. Find a friend or family member who is also committed to budgeting, and become each other’s support system. Having someone to remain accountable to as you change your habits will be invaluable. You’ll both have victories and set-backs at different points along the way. And you’ll learn so much from each other about what works and what doesn’t when trying to stick to a budget.
There’s an App for That
If you’re someone who’s always glued to your phone, a budgeting app is right up your alley. There are countless budget and personal finance apps to choose from, and there’s sure to be one that fits your style and goals. Having your budget information at your fingertips anytime you need a reminder is a powerful way to help keep your goals in mind and do everything you can to reach them.
If you need help figuring out a budget, free Credit Counseling is a great place to start. You can also read more about budgeting here and here.