Money: 5 Days to Budget Breakthrough
Need to get your money back on track? Each day this week I’m sharing one step you can take to start gaining control of your finances. Follow along, take the action steps and find your budget breakthrough! [Read Day 1 here.]
Day 2: Change Your Money Mindset
Now that you have looked at your overall monthly income categories and have started recording your spending, it’s time for something less math related.
Today’s challenge is to start thinking differently about money.
Take a few minutes and think about how you view money in your life. Do you think that money is primarily for spending? Do have a love/hate relationship with keeping track of your spending? Do you constantly feel that there is never enough?
What if you began to view money as a tool that you can use wisely to produce good things in your life? What if you could rise above the mentality of “just getting by” by deciding that you will manage your money rather than letting your money control you, or letting it slip through your hands and disappear?
When we were struggling the most financially, our life was stressful and it seemed like there was never enough. Small amounts of money seemed insignificant because they would not fix our “huge” financial problem. Our thinking went something like this, “We’re not going to have enough money anyway, so who cares if we spend this $4.00 on drinks at the gas station?”.
Eventually we realized that we were making excuses rather than taking responsibility for our situation. We had to stop spending without thinking about it. When we looked at the overall picture we realized that we didn’t have the luxury of spending even $4.00 frivolously–every little bit counted. If we wanted to buy soda, we needed to make a conscious decision and realize that the money spent for sodas meant taking money from some other area of the budget.
To fulfill today’s challenge, take a few minutes and think about why you want to change the way you spend money. Realize that YOU are the only one who can change your financial situation, believe that you can manage your money better and acknowledge that even small steps in the right direction can make a difference. Choose TODAY to make your money work for you so that you can accomplish your dreams.
If you’d like, leave a comment about one change you would like to make. 🙂
[Click here for day 3 of Budget Breakthrough! Click here to read all the Budget Breakthrough posts.]
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Brittany G. says
Just wanted to say that I LOVE this quote!
“Money is a tool that you can use wisely to produce good things in your life.”
This really is the best way to look at it, and gives great motivation.
Thanks Brittany! I’m so glad you were encouraged.
My beloved and I have been budgeting for about 5 years now. We have good months and bad months, but for about the past 18 months or so we haven’t been intentional about managing out finances. I want to really face our situation and be intentional about our spending and saving. So…I’m conducting an overhaul…complete with goal-setting and a revised budget. I realize that this is something that should probably happen more frequently, but we both get so easily distracted (i.e.-the impulse-buy cupcakes look more tasty than $10 in our savings account.) We’re praying through it, though, and I’m hoping that we’ll come out the other side better stewards.
Good for you Jackie! It is challenging, but so worth it to stay on top of our finances. 🙂
My husband and I were constantly fighting over money (he’s the spender, not me). It was always, $1 here, $3 there at the gas station getting a drink. I always made sure that he had plenty of food to pack a lunch, but he still figured he needed that one thing a day??? So, I have gone to only cash. I pay my bills on line so I make sure that those bills have the money to cover them, then I break up the rest into categories. We each get a set amount every two weeks that covers what ever it is we want.
I have an envelope for the following:
Gas (for the car)
When the money is gone, it’s gone. So, if I go crazy at the store and I only leave myself with a little of my budget then, I have to be creative and only spend what I have left in my grocery envelope.
This has cut down on the spending. My husband has been able to see how fast it goes, and has actually started saving his weekly $.
I should have done this a long time ago. 🙂
Whatever is left over after all the envelopes have been filled, goes into savings. Some weeks, it’s $10, others, it’s $100. Just depends on our bills for the two weeks and if anything else has popped up.
So, once bills have been paid, there is NOTHING left in the checking so we don’t get the urge to say, use the debit card.
I have been trying to budget now for a few weeks, and finding your post so helpful. Instead of ignoring my debts and having them spiral out of control, I have finally faced up to them and in the past month have managed to pay $800 nz off them. This has been hard though and I have to stay focused, I find organization is the key, again this is not one of my strengths but I will keep trying 🙂 Thanks again for keeping me inspired.
Wow Elaine–good for you for taking control of your finances and paying off $800 so quickly!
I know exactly what you mean about organization not being a strength. Believe it or not, it’s not my natural mode of operation either. I have found, though, that making important tasks a part of my normal routine really helps. I check my online banking daily and have a weekly appointment with myself to work on everything regarding our finances.
Thanks for letting me be a part of your journey. 🙂
Frannie pants says
This is really great! Breaking it down into baby steps. Thank you! Can’t wait for tomorrow.
Tara H says
We’ve been doing this for a few months, but it’s easy to fall off the wagon when things are seemingly going slowly! (We have a lot of debt and are working hard now to pay it off!)One thing that I’ve been trying to change lately is realizing that just because I can get that box of ritz crackers for .95 doesn’t make it a good deal if I don’t need to spend the extra $1. I’ve started putting things like that back on the shelf when I ask myself if we truly need it or am I just getting it because I have a coupon for it.
This morning I sat and wrote out in categories (church, debt, gas, needs, splurges) all that we have spent in the month of October. It was eye-opening to say the least!! Thanks for that challenge! I’m going to show it to my husband this evening. It showed me that I’m probably going to the grocery store too much …that’s hard to admit!
It’s so easy to spend lots of money without realizing it, but good for you for being willing to do something about it Tara! 🙂