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Budgeting Tip #1: Persistence Pays Off
When implementing a new budgeting plan, one of the most important virtues to have is persistence. Persistence covers a multitude of sins: start and stops, numbers that arenít quite right, forgotten expensesÖall of these are eventually covered if you are persistent.
Thereís really no need to stress out and worry about getting your budget perfect the first time you sit down to do it. Just sitting down to do it for even five minutes is a major accomplishment for some people! So cut yourself some slack and just do what you can, when you can, when you feel like it. If you just canít bring yourself to work on your budget anymore at any one sitting, just tell yourself: ďI can come back to this later. Iím persistent. Iíll eventually get this budgeting thing covered.Ē Instead of feeling guilty for not doing as much as youíd have liked, reward yourself for what you did do!
I use this strategy all the time for my own budget. I revise and work on my budget at most once or twice during a given month. Iíve gotten almost all of my bills set up to pay automatically through my online bank account. I just login to my bank, eyeball the charges, compare them against my plan, and scribble on my printed out plan a little bit Ė maybe alter and print out a new one if something has changed significantly. Then Iím done. It takes me 5-10 minutes at most each sitting.
I use Millionaire 2020™, but even a plain old spreadsheet can do the trick. Pencil and paper works great too. Whatever you use to manage your personal budget, just be sure to do something on it at least once a month Ė even if itís two minutes of effort. Youíll often find that two minutes painlessly turning into ten and youíll accomplish more budgeting than you thought you were capable of Ė all by applying a little persistence.
About the Author: Brad Homer is focused on helping others achieve their personal and financial goals. His website hosts personal finance articles like this one and his free-to-try software, Millionaire 2020ô, which can help get you on the path to good budgeting fast.