Financial Fast Day 19 of 21: 5 Steps to Revive A Failed Budget

Pen and Notepad
A blank notebook and pen to begin budgeting.

Budgeting can seem very difficult when first starting. Like anything worth doing, it takes time and effort to create a budget you can live with. Many times people quit using the budget they created because it was too restrictive. Uhm…well you created it so you can CHANGE it. Follow these tips to triumph at creating a budget you can live by:

  1. Reassess what you didn’t like about the budget. What was too restrictive i.e. not dining out, no ESPN, no cable, no manicures, no boys/girls night out, etc.?
  2. Now replace the constrictive or disliked portions from your budget and replace them with more realistic amounts or goals. Example is instead of no dining out, go to dining out 4-5 times a week with a $75 per week allowance. This is a not to exceed amount of course.
  3. Try out the revised budget for 7 days. Holidays can be more difficult to navigate so cutback in places like fuel by carpool, making gifts and bringing a bottle of wine already in your home.
  4. Evaluate whether the new budget is working or not. If the new budget is NOT working, go back to step 1. If it is working, go to step 5.
  5. In 90 days reevaluate your budget to determine if you are getting the results you wanted i.e. reducing debt, saving money, etc. If not, go back to step 1. If it is successful, then keep going forward.

Budgets will never be exactly the same each month. You will need to tweak it from month to month for holidays, special events, emergencies, vacations, education expenditures, homeowner expenditures, etc. Therefore it is important to organize your mail each week to update your budget accordingly. Happy budgeting!

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