You'd probably expect that budgets are all about numbers and spreadsheets, right? You're not wrong, but you're also missing a key component: your mind. And it's the hardest part to change. Photo by dierk schaefer.
As personal finance site Financially Alert explains, the bulk of our monetary problems don't stem from an inability to do maths. They come from faulty mindsets. We accept that we have a certain standard of living, or certain expenses that we deem acceptable. To really fix your budget, target those mental standards first:
Finding financial freedom really comes down to 80% psychology and 20% mechanics. So, guess where you should focus your efforts? By raising your standards, you immediately begin to impact the quality of your thoughts (psychology). In fact, if you only concentrated on becoming financially alert, you will find yourself naturally adjusting your mechanics automatically.
In practice, that means anything that helps you change your approach to your finances is beneficial. Thinking of your money in terms of chunks or an amorphous gap are hardly based in any kind of maths, but they help you wrap your brain around concepts that can change your mindset. Focus on altering the way you think first, then let the maths follow.