Ostrich Budget - Spoiler Alert: It doesn't work

I am over spending money on my financial mistakes and avoidance.  Spending some time to create new habits and learn about money!

Previously, my general technique was to make a perfectly planned, timed,and color coded budget and maybe even print it out, and make a color coded binder to match...

 

and then never look at it again.

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The intention was there, but I was lacking follow through.

I was burying myself head in metaphorical sand of procrastination and avoidance. If I don't see it, its not there. This leads to late payments, anxiety, and confusion.

The confusion of ignoring your budget is the worst part!

Even the format of an excel budget sheet looks constricting. [numbers inside boxes]

EW, no one wants to feel all boxed up! I can only trick myself into having fun with my pink highlighter and transparent sticky notes for so long.

 

This is what I’m going to try:

              1. Create an effective budget.

              2. Track your budget.

              3. Make it a habit.

              4. Feel empowered about your finances.

 

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1. Create an effective budget.

Throwing numbers on an excel sheet doesn't help if they aren't realistic. But how do you find out what numbers should be in those pesky boxes? Track your spending.

For a recent budget, I tracked spending for a month on Mint. Then I checked my budget to see if it was realistic and made adjustments with my budget (and adjustments with my spending.) I love Mint - it connects to your banking and credit account, and categorizes your spending for you! Easy and organized!

 

2. Track your budget.

Make this a weekly thing, or at least monthly. Set an calendar notification on your phone, and don’t cancel on yourself!

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Maybe one day I will set up all my bills to be auto-paid through my accounts, but I need to have a deeper understanding of this first. It’s like when you were in 5th grade math, and even though you had access to a calculator, the teacher wanted to see all the work for long division. It is time consuming, but if you are like me and you're teaching yourself money management through trial and error, it’s worth the time.

 

Forgive yourself for slip-ups but hold yourself accountable. Creating long term habits means doing a little bit of un-learning. I have been spending time on releasing my fears around money. Restructuring the way that I spend, and save, and making both an act of self-love and self-care.


3. Make it a habit! Set aside time to review your finances.

My favorite way to make things a habit is to associate not-fun-activities with very-fun-activities! Going to yoga, getting a manicure, reading a book, meeting with a friend. It can be something that would have done anyway, the thought behind it matters. Set a timer - maybe just 20 minutes. When the time’s up, you’re done, and your reward awaits!

Make it a priority. Do this task right in the morning or before fun plans for the day. Have your favorite snack while you review your accounts and worksheets. (mmmm pumpkin spice latte... heck! pumpkin spice everything!)

Make the task and the reward the same. (Pumpkin Spice Latte Budget = you only have PSL when you do budgeting. Perfectly spiced financial responsibility.)

Make it sacred. Treat this like a date and set aside time - After all, this is a part of self-care! You are giving yourself the gift of knowing and it feels light and calm.

 

4. Feel empowered about your finances.

What books, templates, worksheets, blogs, or resources do you use for your financially secure, stable and empowered activities?

Post in the comment below.

 

Peace, Love, Sat Nam!


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