I don’t care what the dictionary says, “budget” is a four-letter word. Words matter, and that word has a lot of baggage. That’s why I encourage people to change their mindset and call budgets what they really are: spending plans.

The overarching theme and strategy of any spending plan should be honesty and practicality. Your spending plan should reflect your lifestyle, so cut yourself some slack, and take a long-term view of your finances. And know that falling off your horse and getting back on it is a time-honored tradition shared by most successful people!

If you feel discouraged because you have “been there, done that,” with spending plans — i.e., made a plan that you didn’t stick to — it’s time to try it again. It reminds you of your goals and allows you to steer clear of dangerous situations. In a very real way, creating a spending plan adds to your success.

When tracking your progress, remember that there is no reason why you can’t adjust, completely change, or delete aspects of your spending plan that have shown themselves to be unrealistic — the biggest threat to any spending plan is having items that you continually ignore or forget about.

No spending plan will succeed if you don’t know where your money is going. If you are still in the process of becoming digital, I highly recommend adopting Quicken, Mint or similar software for your accounting needs. With accounting software, you will see a built-in method to categorize each check, debit or deposit. Using a customizable drop down menu you won’t even have to type the whole word out. 

Let’s be honest: No one really wants to spend less money, just like no one really wants to cut the lawn. Many people abandon their budgets because sticking to them seems overwhelming. I have found that the people who get overwhelmed are usually trying to do too much, too fast. Instead, my advice is to take baby steps before you learn to power walk. 

Contact us to talk about your spending plan.