Tips For Finding The Motivation To Stay On Budget | Refresh Financial
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Tips For Finding The Motivation To Stay On Budget

 Motivation To Stay On Budget

So you've finally taken that first step and made yourself a budget. Unfortunately, the next part is the hardest. Now, you have to stick to your budget. That means discipline, self-control and a whole lot of motivation. But what if self-control isn't your strong suit and the lure of shiny new things are more enticing than financial security for the future? How do you find the motivation to stay on budget?

You are not alone

- Most people struggle when it comes to sticking to a budget, how can they not? Fancy iPhones are released every year and Starbucks tantalizes us with yet another trending treat. It's almost impossible to navigate our modern world and not be tempted to spend like crazy!

Misery loves company

- Make sure you are keeping company with likeminded, budget-conscious people. If you spend time with people have no limits on their spending, it becomes so much harder to stick to your own budget. You either have to duck out early, let everyone pay your way or just explain that you're not eating or drinking because you're on a budget. None of these are particularly attractive options, so why not stick to outings with people who share your financial outlook?

Of course, this doesn't mean you have to "break up" with your friends. Instead, explain to them that you are on a budget and you'd love to continue to see them in less expensive environments. Friends worth keeping will understand and support you.

Remember your vision

- Once you lose sight of your budgeting goals, you begin to fight an uphill battle. Ask yourself why you created a budget in the first place and find a way to represent that reason visually in your home, maybe your car, or potentially your workspace. You could even use that image as a wallpaper on your phone. This way, everywhere you go, there will be a reminder of why you're sacrificing and why you need to stay motivated. If your budget was created to save for a down payment on a house, your visual could be as simple as a photo of a home with a "sold" on the "For Sale" sign out front. If you're saving for a car, put the image of that car everywhere you look most often. Don't let yourself forget why you wanted to do this in the first place.

Create short-term goals

- Breaking down your financial goals into smaller pieces will help you find satisfaction on a more regular basis. Don't speculate on a year down the road, focus on today. Setting challenging short-term goals for yourself will have a big impact on your financial dreams. Here are a few examples:

  • Do not eat out for one week
  • Homebrew your coffee for a week
  • Walk to work for a week
  • No Amazon for a week

Once you've completed a few of your goals, you can start extending them further and further. A successful week can turn into a month, and before you know it, you will have developed a new habit!

Reward yourself

- To make those goals feel worthwhile, reward yourself when you reach them. Just make sure the reward is affordable. A meal out, a specialty coffee drink or a bottle of wine are all reasonable rewards for not spending too much over the previous week or month. Choose something that will truly motivate you, however, so you can maximize your success rate.

As you go, track your progress. If you're saving for a car or a down payment, you want to see that money grow. Nothing is more motivating than seeing the numbers in your bank account rise rather than fall. Track that progress and keep it at the forefront of your mind. Perhaps sign in to your bank account every day, first thing. You could even make yourself one of those thermometer goal charts that you slowly fill in as you make progress. Whatever method you use, just ensure you are always aware of how far you've come.

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