As time continues to evolve and change, one thing remains certain. We don’t know how to manage our finances! There is a six-letter word that tends to intimidate most millennials and that word is B-U-D-G-E-T! Budgeting serves as a visual road map to ensure that one can reach their financial goals. Contrary to belief, a budget does not limit the amount of money you are allowed to spend. Instead, it creates boundaries and offers direction. Regardless of the measures this disciplinary tool offers, people still have a hard time sticking to the financial goals they set. The following tips are 4 ways you can hold yourself accountable.
1. Create Affirmations
There is power in affirmations. Some say affirmations are faking it until you make it, but I see it as sending a clear message to yourself repeatedly that this is important to you. Your Reticular Activating System (RAS) filters out the information we need from the information we don’t need, and as you begin to verbalize your goals eventually your RAS will detect this information and it begins helping you find ways to achieve that in which you are affirming.
2. Limit Your Access
Most people have trouble sticking to their budget because their funds are easily accessible. Taking the time to separate your spending money from saving money can minimize the temptation of wanting to spend money in your leisure time. A feature that I have found to be helpful is setting up an auto draft for all of my bills to ensure that I don’t think the money present in my account is just a little extra spending money.
3. Track Your Spending
If you aren’t sticking to your budget you won’t know exactly where you went wrong! It is usually small unplanned expenses such as eating out or small store pickups that cause us to deviate from our initial plan. Tracking the money you spend holds you and every dollar spent accountable. This method will increase your chances of finding where it is you are unnecessarily spending money so that you can stop.
4. Find an Accountability Partner
Finding someone to help reinforce the rules you set for yourself helps to create a sense of expectation. Your accountability partner doesn’t have to know every penny you have saved in your bank account, but having a loved one or financial adviser to help you stay the course of sticking to your personal financial goals will help you take responsibility for your success, and it helps to limit the amount of excuses you use to justify poor spending habits.