If you’re looking to change up your relationship with money and start a new leaf for 2019, here’s the best way to blow it…… by setting up a budget… That’s right, I said FORGET the budget.
Budgets make me sweat. When I was going thru my divorce and trying to get back on my feet, I found budgeting to be near impossible with too many expenses and not enough money. I was trying to maintain a household and raise children on a single salary that clearly required two. I just had too many obligations, and not enough money, plain and simple. Every attempt at budgeting under those circumstances failed, and in in turn, I found my self esteem falling as quickly as my bank balance.
The last thing you need when you’re trying to get back on your feet after a life altering event such as divorce, or job loss, is to feel badly about yourself and your abilities. It’s a self-defeating, downward-spiraling waste of time to set up budgets and goals that you know you will not be able to keep.
What to do instead? Abandon the budget (for now) and shoot for something more attainable.
Take a big long deep breath, and write down the first thought that comes to mind regarding your financial picture. Maybe you are looking to increase savings, pay down debt, (or both) or rebuild your credit? Identifying your most pressing topic will make it that much easier to set a plan in motion. Trying to tackle everything at once, can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Overwhelm leads to inertia and inertia is bad.
2. Once you have identified your most pressing concern, take active steps to work on just that one goal. For instance, maybe you just need to start a small savings or investment plan. Start with the smallest amount you feel you can afford (no amount is too small, it’s the action that’s important) and put it somewhere outside of your normal bank accounts. There are a lot of options. Get advice if you need to. You will be amazed at the empowerment your feel just getting started.
3. Now it’s time to write down your long term financial goals and dreams. Don’t worry about having a plan to achieve them; you’ve already (without realizing it) begun a subtle shift in mindset that will allow you to move toward a path to accomplishing your financial goals and changing your relationship with money.
It really does begin with one small, simple step. Seek out the services of a financial professional who can show you just how easy it can be to forget the budget and live a “stress free” financial life.