Setting a budget for yourself is a great way to control spending, track where your money goes and save for the future, but unfortunately there’s always a risk when restrictive behavior is involved. Budget burnout can mean going off the rails and blowing through your savings, but learning to balance restrictive behavior with responsible spending will ensure you stick to your budget goals.
For some help avoiding budget burnout, check out the tips below.
The main purpose of a budget is to keep your finances out of the red, but it’s also used to find money that can be set aside for other projects. Whether you’re saving for a big future purchase or paying off a debt, you have to remind yourself to set realistic goals.
One of the most important tips is to limit yourself to one goal or two at the most. Trying to spread your money across multiple goals may stretch your budget too thin. You won’t see the progress you’re looking for with any of your goals, and that can quickly leave you discouraged. Think carefully about which goal you really want to work towards, and give yourself a manageable and realistic timeline.
Leave Some Wiggle Room
Moderation is the key to being successful at anything that involves indulgence and restriction, and budgeting is no different. Giving yourself a little room for mistakes or the occasional splurge is necessary to maintain a healthy relationship with finances.
It’s easy to become obsessed over your budget and let it rule your life, so leaving some wiggle room releases a little bit of the tension built up around saving money. Money is already a stressful subject, so there’s no reason to torture yourself any more than you have to.
Occasionally, you deserve to metaphorically let your hair down and spend a little money. You might be amazed what a small splurge can do for your money fears. Learning to loosen your grip on your budget means that you control your budget, not the other way around. A “splurge budget” can be a great way to remind yourself that budgeting isn’t all about not spending money. Letting go of some of the pressure of a budget can make all the difference when you make a mistake or spend a little more than you intended.
Switch Your System
While one budgeting system may have worked perfectly in the past, our lives and expenses change, so it might be time to change the way you budget, too. If you find your current method is starting to become too inconvenient or time consuming, you may find yourself ignoring your budget and straying from the path of financial responsibility. Take these signals as a sign that it’s time to mix things up. Some people use a cash only system to force them to think more about each transaction. Whether you use the envelope method, keep your money in the bank or put splurge money on a reloadable card, there’s a multitude of ways to keep track of your budget. When one method stops working for you, there’s plenty more to choose from to renew your faith in your saving system.
If you feel burnt out, remind yourself that your budget can take the occasional hit and survive. Striving for perfection can only increase the pressure you feel and raise your chances for a burnout. Remember that you’re human and mistakes will happen. Staying on top of your budget doesn’t have to stress you out. Using the tips above, you can avoid burnout and learn to manage your budget without stress.