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Budgeting can seem overwhelming and managing your finances can seem like a major task that seems impossible to figure out. There are SO many different ways to budget and SO many different people pushing different ways to budget.
What’s the right way to budget? Should I try cash envelopes to budget? Should I use an app? What about using a spreadsheet? Ugh. There’s too much out there to figure it out. And then you’re back to square one and definitely not budgeting and definitely not knowing where your money is going every month.
I’m fairly certain that most people that have never budgeted before have similar questions go through their head. If you’re anything like me, you definitely did.
I remember absolutely panicking about my post grad student loan bill every month of $2,000 and thinking, “How the hell am I going to make this work on a teacher’s salary?!” I was 23 and absolutely freaking out about how I was going to afford my life in a few short months.
This is the moment that determines if you’re going to be successful with budgeting. There isn’t any crazy math knowledge required, no special courses, no specific way, really it’s very simply why people succeed at budgeting and others don’t.
People don’t succeed at budgeting because they don’t want to do the work.
Budgeting is simple, but it’s in those moments where it’s make or break. People simply don’t want to do the work that is required to budget.
They want the freedom that a budget would bring, but they don’t want to do the work. Budgeting is easy, but it does take some time and desire to have the freedom to spend money.
I do get it, there are SO many different ways to budget out there. The reality is that you need to just commit to something that tracks your money and start. What works for me, might not work for you. That’s why you need to do some trial and error and find out what works for you.
It’s going to take time and some work, but the results you will see are so worth it. I have a template for Google sheets available, if that’s something you think would work for you.
People don’t succeed at budgeting because they don’t want to face their reality.
I remember when I hit my reality moment before I graduated from my masters program and realized how tight my budget was going to be with my minimum monthly payment. All the blogs out there said a budget would be freeing, WTF did I just sign up for?!
The reality is that in the beginning, your budget is going to feel restricting because it’s a new way you are managing your finances. But, something that helped me a lot was really focusing in on my why.
I want to live a life that wasn’t governed by bills, wasn’t dictated by when I was being paid next or how much I was getting paid. I want to live a life that doesn’t require me to stay at a terrible job just because I need the money. I want to do work that I absolutely love, regardless of my paycheck.
None of that was my reality then and it still isn’t my reality today, but I’m getting closer to living that life. All it took was my one decision to change my future and create a budget that helps me to get there. I’ve now created a budget that allows me to spend my money on things that I value and I do whatever I can to save money on things I need to spend on.
As a twenty something that’s quickly moving towards my upper twenties, people think I’m absolutely insane to still be living with my parents. But, I don’t mind living at home for now and it allows me to reach my long term goals so much faster. My parents live in NJ, cost of living is ridiculous, which also means my salary as a teacher is basically the highest it would be in most other parts of the country. This means $0 towards rent while getting a higher salary.
This was planned and a major change I made in my post grad plans once I made a fake budget for post grad. You need to face your realities, so that you can make changes for your future to get you to your goals.
Budgeting is not going to be easy, especially at first, but I promise you it will definitely be worth it. I can’t even imagine where my life would be now if I didn’t start budgeting back in 2015. I know for sure I wouldn’t have paid off 6 figures of debt so far and I definitely wouldn’t be in a place to start thinking about moving out. So, what’s stopping you from being successful at budgeting? I’d love to help. Comment below what’s challenging you!