I’ve spent the vast majority of this morning (0730-1115) cleaning the house. Please don’t misunderstand me, my house isn’t a health hazard, but nor is it a place where anyone other than close friends and family can drop by at a moment’s notice–that’s just not my reality. Frankly, it DRIVES ME CRAZY!
With that said, cleaning house is like reorganizing your budget. Sometimes you work on it daily, sometimes weekly, and then sometimes you do ONE BIG—OMG if I don’t fix this now somebody’s going to die (and I didn’t want anybody dead today ;)). BUT…BUT…BUT…then you have to maintain it. And, before you even get to maintenance, you have to FINISH what you’re doing so that you can step back and see/say, “Holy Cow! I did it! I did it! I can soooo keep this up!” And actually mean it.
ONE PIECE OF THE BUDGET AT A TIME!!! Again, we’re going to liken this to my cleaning spree this morning. I focused on one room at a time. I tend to flit, flutter, and grab what I see that needs my attention and put it away willy-nilly. Yeah, it gets things put away, but none of it very effectively…there is always something left in the room that didn’t get handled…or we/I got distracted…or something else prevented us/me from following through on that room. Okay…with your budget, let’s say that you want to cut back on groceries, decrease your eating out, adjust what you spend on clothes, entertainment, and hobbies. CHANGE ONE THING AT A TIME!
Yes, you may be able to make blanket cuts across all categories, and I’m not going to discourage you from doing so–it can be an effective way to show your money who’s boss! (You are, by the way.) When you go to ensure that the changes are actually being made, however, focus on ONE category at a time. For example, if you want to save money on consumables (like groceries) because you’re trying to lose weight or keep a New Year’s Resolution…don’t mess with groceries! Sure, if you can save a few bucks here and there for the next few months, great, but otherwise, just wait until you get your new eating plan together and your habits actually change before you adjust your grocery budget. You could focus on decreasing the amount you eat out…that works towards your healthy eating/weight loss goal, adjusts your budget, and you’ll notice a change in spending habits without taking on too much at once!!
One room at a time, one budget category at a time…one thing at a time, one dollar at a time! You CAN do it! Please let me know if I can be of any assistance!!