By Damara Parra, Supervising Financial Counselor
Yes, just like the song by Bon Jovi (pictured above), many people feel like they are getting a “shot through the heart” when they think about budgeting. But, stop giving budgeting a bad name! It doesn’t have to be boring, complicated or tedious, as many people view it.
I am here to tell you budgeting is anything but that. Have you heard the saying: “a dream without a plan is just a wish”? Well budgeting is that plan that will allow you to fulfill goals that will, in time, pave the way to your dreams!
Here are 3 tips that could make you start loving budgeting:
- Make tracking your expenses simple and fun. Notebook or spreadsheet? It really does not matter as long as you choose something that you can manage consistently and over time. Choose a nice notebook, color-code your budget categories on your spreadsheet (here is a free template from NYLAG!), if your budget allows it, add a category for “Fun” expenses even if is a small amount. Make your expense tracker feel like you.
- Give your budget a reason to exist. Take a minute to create at least one SMART goal and put it at the top of your budget. For example a: “Birthday party fund”, “moving out fund” or “emergency savings fund”. Then when you do your monthly tracking, this reason will inspire you and you will see your progress in your journey towards accomplishing your goals.
- Get an accountability partner. Besides working on your own finances with a counselor, you can also involve your family/friends in the process. You can either come up with your goals as a family or share some of them with your friends. An accountability partner can cheer you up along the way and if you involve others in your process, they can also benefit from the inspiration you provide. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an accountability partner in your financial journey?
Unlike in the Bon Jovi song referenced above, when budgeting promises you “heaven” it will deliver it if you are consistent and patient with it. You can accomplish your goals through budgeting. Moreover, you will feel more in control of your finances and future.
Don’t let money control you. Meet with a NYLAG financial counselor to learn how to control your money. Let us be your accountability partner!
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