Sometimes I get angry over having to live a real life on a budget…I mean let’s get real for a moment – making sure you don’t go over budget sometimes just flat out sucks.
I know, I know, that’s not what personal finance people are supposed to say. We’re supposed to say things like “budgets are roadmaps” and “make your money work for you” and all those statements are 100% true. The problem isn’t in the budgeting part itself, because honestly figuring out how much money you have or don’t have is the easy part. It’s the sticking to the budget that’s the difficult part.
That’s where I struggle – sticking to the budget. I’m super money conscience and I love budgeting but sometimes, just sometimes I kinda wish that I could just not worry about it. For instance, I’m in need of some professional maternity clothes for when I speak at FinCon in September, but I have approximately $0.00 to buy them with. So, I have to use what little bit of brain power I have left to work and rework my free ThredUp credits so I can purchase some used maternity clothes for free.
And I was able to do just that but honestly, there was a much cuter outfit that I wanted at another store where I didn’t have any credits to and the clothes were brand new. Sometimes I get tired of wearing other people’s hand-me-downs no matter the brand name on the tag.
“Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” – Joe Biden
But that’s how a budget works – that’s its power. By having a budget and knowing how and where my money has to go every month, I know if I have money to spend on new clothes or not. Even though it sometimes is a nuisance to have to get creative in order to score things for free, it’s actually kind of fun.
I think that sometimes (or at least for me anyway) we get a little too caught up in the “I can’t have this” or “we really can’t afford this, this month” that we end up forgetting about what a budget is allowing us to do.
A budget keeps our money in check. I don’t know about you, but before I started budgeting my money, I had literally no clue where my money went every month. I wasn’t necessarily dropping thousands of dollars shopping at the mall every week and I wasn’t stopping in a gas station every day to purchase an energy drink, but I still had no clue where my money was going.
My money was somehow slipping through my fingers like sand and I had no idea how to catch all that I was losing. That was until I started budgeting. Before long I had money in savings, debt was being paid off, I was able to actually afford real food – not the $0.39 Ramen noodles I drowned in butter to make taste somewhat good, and I was able to feel a little bit of freedom.
Related Post: 5 Painless Ways to Save Money
I get it. I truly do. Budgeting is sometimes just no fun. Sometimes I hate going grocery shopping because I know that I’m going to have to make difficult decisions while shopping if I go over my cash budget. Sometimes it’s embarrassing having to tell others that you can’t attend their get together because you have no money to throw in on dinner or that you’ll bring a dish instead. Sometimes it’s no fun having to explain to your child that you have no room in the budget to buy that new toy that they are staring at longingly in the store.
But, at the end of the day you know how much money you have and you know where it is going. That is a blessing, not a curse. It may not be easy sticking to your budget, but it is so worth it. No matter your financial goals, your budget will help you achieve them and by knowing what is in your budget, you know how to make your money work for you.
What’s your biggest budgeting hurdle?
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Money controlling you? I know the feeling. My family has been living this real life on a budget for a long time and I can tell you that there's never a perfect season, but with a few changes you can start to reign in your money issues.
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