This is the third blog in a 5-part series called, 5 Simple Routines That Make Family Life SO Much Easier. This series is the product of questions we’ve been asked by our Facebook community, and this week we tackle a subject that is near and dear to our heart – How do you stick to your budget (or spending plan)?

Let’s be honest. No one really wants to restrict their spending. It’s so much easier and more enjoyable to just buy whatever, whenever! Until the bills start rolling in… At that point, the joy our purchases brought us is replaced with stress. “How am I going to pay all this off?”

Creating and sticking to a spending plan can feel difficult. Drowning in debt is also difficult. I guess the point is you’re gonna have to choose your hard, and we believe choosing the hard of creating and sticking to a spending plan will be much more fulfilling than being a slave to your impulses and subsequent debt. But we don’t think you should have to do it alone.

Here’s how we stick to our own spending plan and how you can too!

Stick to your spending plan.

How to stay on track with your spending plan.

Make a spending plan you can stick to.

One thing we didn’t realize was that it would take a few months to iron out the details of our spending plan. We kept having to make tweaks before settling into a groove. If you want to cut back on the amount of tweaks you’ll need to make, look back on the past 3 months of your expenses. You’ll be able to get a pretty good idea of where your money’s going and where you can make cuts.

Be intense but realistic. Cutting every penny of discretionary spending will be a recipe for disaster. A better idea is to cut it in half. Creating a realistic plan will still be a bit jarring, but it’ll be doable. If you create a plan that has zero hope for success you’ll just end up throwing it out and never look back.

Find a teammate.

If you’re married, you and your spouse need to be on the same page. One of you is probably going to be more into creating the spending plan, and that’s ok. However, you both have to agree to the plan and hold each other accountable to sticking to it. Not married? Ask a friend to meet with you once a month.

Figure out your “why.”

Most people won’t stick to a plan just to say they stuck to a plan. There has to be a strong why. I stay within my grocery budget because I know if I overspend at the store it’ll affect another line item. Overspending in one area could push back the purchase of an item we really want and are saving for.

What is it for you? Do you want to get out of debt so you can give more? Do you want to create a spending plan in order to make a big family trip a reality. We can’t tell you what your why should be, but you have to have one!

Set goals and rewards

Maybe you like Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps or Art Rainer’s 8 Money Milestones. If you choose to follow a program like those reward yourself when you knock something off the list! If there’s a student loan you’ve been wanting to get rid of go out for ice cream after you make your final payment.

Rewards don’t have to be expensive. Heck, they don’t have to cost anything really, but rewarding yourself for a job well done (while reminding yourself of your why) will give you the motivation you need to keep going.

Just stick to the spending plan!

We can’t stress this enough. Of all the tips we’ve shared in this article this is probably the biggest one. You just have to commit. Any new routine is going to feel hard at first, and restricting your spending is no exception. However, the longer you do it the more normal it feels. This is a no excuses assignment. It’s just time to get. it. done.

Because there’s a better way,
Trent + Sarah

QUESTION: WHICH one of these tips is the most helpful? have you tried to create a spending plan in the past and it ended in failure? What went wrong?

Check out the other blogs in this series here: 5 Simple Routines That Make Family Life SO Much Easier
And if you’ve found value from our content and would like to help keep the blog up and running, you can now donate VIA Buy Me a Coffee.

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