Recover from ‘Budgeting Burnout’

Miss Money Bee by April Lewis-Parks

Living on a budget is one of the most effective ways to save money, keep debt under control, and accomplish your goals. But let’s be honest, budgeting may also require you to make sacrifices like cutting back on your morning lattes, lunches out or saying no to fun trips with your friends.

After months of sticking to a rigid budget, you may start to feel burnt out. Instead of giving in to temptation take a quick breather and explore some ways to recover from this feeling.

1. Set goals you are passionate about
Making sacrifices and saving money tends to be more fun when you’re working toward a goal that you’re excited about, like being debt free or saving money for a new car. It can be easy to forget about your goals when your spending has been slashed, so to stay motivated keep visual aids around your home or office to remind you why you’re working so hard – and the big payoff in the end.

2. Be realistic
When you’re saving for a down payment on a home, it’s easy to jump right in and try to completely overhaul your finances. But changing your spending and saving behavior takes time.  Taking on too much at once can leave you feeling drained, especially when you don’t see immediate benefits. Instead, pick one of two smaller goals to focus on initially, such as paying off your credit cards and saving 10 percent of each pay check. Once you have mastered these goals and behaviors, you can ease into making more changes.

Sometimes it also helps to set small milestones and track your progress. Saving $20,000 can seem overwhelming so instead focus on saving $100, $200 or $400 a month and watch your savings grow. When you focus on smaller achievements, you may find yourself more motivated to continue saving.

3. Discipline your spending, but don’t deprive
Cutting back on costs that keep you from accomplishing your goals is important, but that doesn’t mean foregoing all purchases – it just means being smart about it. Treating yourself to a dinner with friends once a month or trying something new can provide you with the rewards you need to keep yourself happy, while still working toward your goals without overspending.

It is important to have fun, be frugal, and save for the most meaningful things that you need to be happy like a home, a car, retirement savings, being debt free, and that other goal you have always dreamed of…