It can be hard to get used to a budget, especially if you're not great with money. It takes time to adjust to a spending plan, but if you keep failing at your budget, or if you feel like you're stuck in a rut, it's probably time to switch up your strategy.
Photo by jarmaluk.
Of course, budgeting really does come down to discipline. But it's easy to stagnate with finances. You keep saving, but it's taking forever to reach your goal, so you get tired of working toward it and give up. Changing things up can help you stay motivated and engaged.
In an article for Wise Bread, journalist Mikey Rox explains his own experience with this:
I did the envelope system for a couple of years. And while it worked, I eventually got tired of filling envelopes with cash every two weeks. To make matters worse, I always forgot the envelopes at home when grocery shopping and ended up using a credit or debit card, anyway. Then I switched to keeping all my cash in the bank, but quickly discovered that I didn't have the patience to keep track of every single debit card transaction, and this method made it far too easy to overspend. Now, I deposit a reasonable amount for groceries, recreation, gas, and incidentals onto a prepaid debit card, and keep the rest in the bank. Our checking account is strictly for expenses, and since our bills are on autopilot, budgeting has become a lot simpler.
Recently, I sort of went through this, too. After feeling bored with my financial goals and my budgeting in general, I found that I had given up on them without even realising it. For a few weeks in a row, I'd drastically overspent on restaurants. In an effort to regain control of my spending, I switched things up: I implemented the envelope system, and it worked. A lot of that probably has to do with the nature of the envelope system (we tend to spend less when using cash), but the novelty played a big part, too.
Budgeting isn't the most exciting thing in the world, but changing things up can work wonders when you're feeling burnt out. We've written about all sorts of budgeting strategies, so read up on them and find one you think might work better. Check out Wise Bread's full post for more tips on getting over budget burnout, too.
5 Tricks to Beating Budget Burnout [Wise Bread]