Are you afraid the envelope budget or money jar budget is too difficult to follow? Those who have New Year’s resolutions often give up before February first but anything worth doing may take some trail and error.
If you find it difficult to get accustomed to living on a budget give yourself a break. It takes time to change habits and if you’ve been someone who has perpetually overspent it can take a few weeks or even a few months to change those habits. Be forgiving but don’t give up. It takes time to build resolve and as your new habits develop it’ll get easier.
One of the big problems with buying on debit and credit is that you don’t see the true cost of what you’re spending. When you work strictly with cash it’s much easier to see where money goes and just how much money you have. When you ask the question, “Can I afford this?” you’ll know the answer very quickly. There’s no fooling yourself with straight cash because you can see in black and white whether or not you can afford to do something.
If the money is not in the envelope to do something and you’re not in a position to shuffle things around from other envelopes or money jars you’ll have your answer. This sounds restrictive and it is at first but it won’t be long before you realise that this works better. When you save money for a fun fund or an emergency fund, you’ll have that extra money to splurge or have fun without harming your budget for the rest of the week.
Everyone needs some ‘mad’ money and save your money for the future but save some mad money too. Again, it takes time to develop new skills and break bad habits so if at first your new envelope budget feels too difficult, don’t give up. It gets easier with time and soon you’ll find it effortless to stay within your budget and be able to budget for guilt-free fun.