5 Ways To Maintain The Habit Of Budgeting

Money Files

One of the top questions I get asked is, “How do I stick to a budget?” Society tells us we have to budget to manage our money well, but most teachings focus on restriction. If you are someone who has tried spreadsheets and apps and still struggle to maintain a budget, this episode is for you!

Today, I talk specifically about maintaining the habit of budgeting. I am excited to share this episode because it gives you five practical ways to navigate maintaining your budget. . 

This easy five-step plan will help you create a budget that works for you. 

Listen as I explain five steps to help you maintain the habit of budgeting:

[04:30] Define the purpose of budgeting in your life

[07:37] How did you feel the last time you went over your budget?

[11:28] What does it mean when you say you want to stick to the budget?

[14:25] Make space in your budget for fun

[15:18] Schedule weekly money dates

If you are ready to change how you think about budgeting, tune into this episode of Money Files!

If you’re ready to gain financial clarity and start saying “yes” to the things that light you up, apply to work with me and let’s get you closer to your goals.


Transcript for “5 Ways To Maintain The Habit Of Budgeting”

Hi, and welcome to Money Files. I’m Keina Newell from Wealth Over Now. I work every day with professional women and solopreneurs to help them get out of financial overwhelm and shame so they can experience more flexibility and ease with their finances. Are you ready to gain confidence and learn to manage your finances intentionally? Tune in and grab financial tips that will help you master the way you think about and manage your finances.

Hello, and welcome back to another episode of Money Files. I am excited to talk to you guys today because I think that this episode is going to change your life. And it’s gonna change your life, because I’m gonna help you change some of your thoughts around budgeting because I want every single person who encounters my work or encounters me in real life to fall in love with their numbers. Guys, I get to see the power of working with clients from day to day. And when they’re able to shift their thoughts around money, it’s one of the most impactful things, because I know that money can bring up a ton of emotions and it can make you question everything you believe to be true about yourself, because it’s maybe an area of your life that you don’t feel successful in or like you failed over and over, time and time again and you’re wondering, like, why can I just figure this out.

I actually, if you’re on my Facebook community, if you go back to a conversation, I did a live in there on August 22 and you can find it. But I talked about the enemy of consistency, which is instant gratification. And I shared a little bit about, like, my fitness journey and how that’s an area of my life where I feel really, really consistent. And I shared some of my thoughts about that, and how I think that that translates over to like to anyone being able to think about an area of their life where they feel like they’re consistent, and how we can use that area of success that we have to support us in another area that maybe we don’t feel as consistent and so in this case, it would be finances. But if you’re in my Facebook community, go back Tuesday, August 22, listen to that live, if you’re not my Facebook community, go to the show notes you can join and then you can also listen to that live. 

But so much of budgeting is about knowing that you’re building a muscle, I tell my clients this all the time, I’m like you’re building a muscle and so remember that you’re building a muscle, this is a journey, and I want you to enjoy the process. Because it’s not a get quick, what is that, a get rich, quick scheme kind of thing. It is the fact that like, I want you to embody that you are someone who manages your money well, and so that’s a journey. And there’s going to be ups and downs along that journey, but what’s going to be most important is how you tend to yourself and how you talk to yourself and how you shift what you naturally would think when you go through those ups and downs. 

So today, I want to talk to you specifically about maintaining the habit of budgeting. I frequently get asked the question, like, how do I stick to a budget? And when I hear people asking about how do they stick to a budget, I naturally start to think about how they believe that budgeting is restrictive. And they probably tried budgeting several times like they’ve tried spreadsheets, they’ve tried apps, they’ve tried paper and pencil, you know, they’ve tried multiple accounts. And so they have like a lot of systems that they’ve tried, but they haven’t actually been able to stick to the budget. And so today, I want you to just engage in this conversation with me about how to maintain the habit of budgeting because I really want you to think about, like, budgeting is a skill, it’s a muscle that you are going to work out, okay. And you’re going to work out this skill and this muscle because you desire to be someone who manages their money well, and you’re going to have different amounts of money that come to you, you’re going to have different financial situations that you encountered during this journey and so if you’re maintaining this muscle, it’s going to allow you to be able to flex it when you need to be able to flex it. Okay. 

So first one, which I kind of already started to talk about. The first thing I want you to do, is I actually want you to define the purpose of budgeting, like one shooter defined the purpose of budgeting in your life. Okay? And maybe you’ve never thought about this, because you’ve just kind of taken in, like the societal norms of budgeting, which I think some of society says like, you’re supposed to budget because you need to manage your money, or maybe you learned how to budget when you didn’t have a lot of money, or maybe you saw your parents budgeting because they didn’t have a lot of money and they needed to make ends meet and so maybe that’s your association with budgeting, but I want you to think about what’s the purpose of budgeting? Like, why do you want to budget? 

And so if I were to answer that question, I would tell you that, like, budgeting provides me peace of mind, I would tell you that it’s my tool that I can use to consult if I need to, like, cover a new expense or if I’m looking to create, change or shift in my life. So like I use budgeting, to be able to leave my job, I use budgeting to be able to buy a house, I use budgeting to be able to create a multiple six-figure business and actually have the consistency of being able to pay myself. So the thought, like budgeting as a tool, feels very true to me. Also, like one of the purposes of me budgeting is, like, I want to build generational wealth. And it’s not something that I’ve ever had. But it’s something that I would like to build. And I think about it in terms of ,like, a family legacy. And so when I’m thinking about budgeting, my budget is a plan that gets me there. And so when I think about my numbers, I can think about what can I invest in, what free money is available if I want to buy an investment property, what money is available if I want to contribute it to my retirement. Like, those are the things that I’m able to determine, because I have a budget. So the purpose of budgeting for me is like it really provides this guide for me to decide what I want to do with my money, I work way too hard to allow my money to just slip through my fingers. And so that’s why I really enjoy budgeting. And I find budgeting to be therapeutic because I can just lean in and I can solve things with my budget. Like when I wanted to buy a house. I initially wanted to buy a house when I moved to DC, I didn’t immediately buy a home, but I knew that if I had a budget, it can help me figure out how much money do I need to make? How much of a mortgage could I afford? How much money could I save, like it helped me work through all of those questions that I had in my head and I was able to turn to that budgeting as a tool. So just take some time and for yourself define the purpose of budgeting. Okay. And you can steal any of the things that I said or you can come up with your own things, but like, what do you want the purpose of budgeting or the purpose of actually feeling in control of your money? Why do you want that? Why do you desire that? 

Number two, I want you to observe yourself. So maybe you can observe yourself in this moment, because it may not be happening, but think back to the last time that you went over your budget, or when you didn’t stick to your budget. Okay. Think back to that last time and I want you to think about like, just write down like, what did you think about yourself, what did you think about your budget, when you went over budget? Like, what are some of the first thoughts that come to mind for you. So write those down. One that’s really, really common for my clients is that it’s like it’s happening again, like they’re going over budget again. And so there’s like an alarm that sounds for them in their head, but just write down a couple of thoughts in terms of like, what do you think when you go over budget? And then the next thing I want you to capture for yourself is like when you’re thinking that, right, or when you’ve gone over budget, what actions do you take? And what actions do you not take? So I know a lot of the times when people go over budget, and it could be going over in groceries, for instance, like they throw out the entire budget, they don’t look at anything. They just like, see it’s not working, and they throw it all out. They throw the baby out with the bathwater, right? And so they may not actually schedule a money date. Like I think about my clients, they don’t schedule money dates. They hide from their budget. Maybe you continue overspending because you’re like, I’ve already blown my budget so why would I not just continue to blow my budget, right? But just be able to name for yourself what actions you take when you go over budget. And then be really honest with yourself, like, do you like how you show up? And maybe some of you, you actually do actually go back to your budget, but what do you notice, like maybe if you’ve gone over your budget three times in a month, right? Or what do you notice if you continually come up against going over budget? So maybe the first time you’re kind to yourself. Maybe the second time you’re kind to yourself but what happens that third time that you go over budget? And I just want you to be honest. Like do you actually, like, how you show up when you go over budget? And if you don’t like how you show up when you go over budget, I want you to name like how would you like to show up? And the reason, I like, I want you to do kind of this like offstage approach to be mindful of just these like automatic responses that you have towards this fear that you have of being able to maintain your budget or being able to stick to your budget and what that means about you and your ability to manage money, because if you think about and observe yourself during these times, when you’re over your budget, I’m curious, does that align with the reason that you want to budget? Right? Like you want to budget to build generational wealth, but you’re beating yourself up about going over your groceries? Do those two things align? I would argue that you going over your grocery budget, even going over your grocery budget for the entire year, does that stop you from building generational wealth? Is generational wealth only created if you can stay within your grocery budget? The answer’s no. Like there are other ways to build generational wealth besides staying in your grocery budget. And I would argue that like you continuing to look at your numbers, is the thing that’s going to help you build generational wealth because when you’re looking at your numbers, you might find out like, Oh, my goodness, I actually need to allocate more towards groceries, because I was lying to myself about the fact that I only spend $400 a month on groceries. Or you might figure out that like, I want to do a better job of negotiating the next time that I apply for a job or I want to talk to my boss about a promotion. You can figure those things out if you’re not judging yourself about going over your grocery allowance. All right. 

Number three, I want you to decide, like, what does it mean, when you say that you want to maintain the habit of budgeting, or when you tell yourself I want to stick to the budget? What does that mean? Because you’re saying that, but you actually know what that means? Like how would you know, if you were sticking to the budget? Just write down, like, three things that you desire to be true if you were sticking to your budget. Maybe one of the things that shows you that you’re sticking to your budget is that you’re consistently saving $500 a month. And I’m just throwing $500 out there because like maybe that’s what you put in your plan that you want to say $500 a month, right? Or like, maybe sticking to your budget means that when you overspend, you’re actually going to adjust your budget to account for the overspending. Maybe sticking to your budget means that you are going to adjust your spending habits. So like one of the things you want to do is ,like, plan your spending out for the week so you actually have a plan to think through, like where you’re spending money outside of bills. And I’m saying this because right now, you’re just telling yourself that you’re not sticking to the budget, but I want you to actually give yourself some like tactical ways to identify whether or not you are sticking to the budget. It can’t just be that you’re going over groceries and so you’re not sticking to the budget. I want you to give yourself some other measures because I think that you’re going to shame yourself continually if you are going over groceries. And I use groceries because I feel like that’s the one thing that people are like, happen, I’m eating out and blah, blah, blah, like food is such a variable expense for folks. But if you can actually think about your habits and think about what it means to stick to the budget, you’re going to be able to investigate, like, what’s happening. Like, so, if I’m thinking about overspending, we can decide like, is it a situational overspend, because you had friends in town, for instance, or is that a behavioral overspend and you had a bad day at work, and you found yourself at Target, right? But you can start to talk to yourself about and identify some of the ways in which like, where you’re getting tripped up with your budget, and now we’re, we’re troubleshooting for something different, instead of throwing the whole budget out. So sticking to a budget, may be the goal. But I want you to know, your budget is supposed to be this tool that’s flexible. My budget may not look the same throughout the year, because I’m always learning new things about myself and me thinking about sticking to the budget, I’m really thinking about what are the results that I want to create? And how can I narrow in and focus in on what I want to create? How can I look at my behaviors? How can I look at things that are maybe impeding me from being able to reach some of my financial goals, so I’m trying to look at it from, like, an objective lens. 

Number four, when you are creating a budget, I also want you to make space in your budget for fun. So generally speaking, people have bills, you have some debt that maybe you’re paying off, and then I want you to make space for the fun. Like make space to have the coffee dates, make space to have the weekend getaways every quarter, make space to go to the yoga class that gives you, you know, that strengthens your mental health. These are the things that you may generally judge yourself for spending money on, but I want you to actually make space in your budget for those things so that you have money and you have cash flow that’s going towards, like, who you are and how you desire to fuel yourself so that you can limit the amount of time that you’re shaming yourself on this journey and through this process, okay? And know, once again, this is a journey and our process and you’re building the muscle. 

And then the fifth thing in order to, like, maintain the habit of budgeting, is schedule weekly Money dates. Put that on your calendar where you look at your money. You don’t have to sit down at a desk, you can go to a coffee shop, you can go to the park, whatever it is, but identify like on these money dates, I want you to celebrate the things that are going well for you. I want you to talk about like, okay, well what isn’t working for me right now? And what do I want to change and you can literally do this week to week, but it’s gonna put you in communication with your numbers. That right there is the maintenance stuff that you need. It’s going to make sure that you’re maintaining your budget, you’re going to be able to shift your habits week to week, and you’re going to get better at getting the results that you desire to create. Alright, so don’t take this all or nothing approach because we don’t want all or nothing thinking when it comes to managing our money. 

So thank you so much for tuning into this week’s episode. If this episode was impactful, I would love if you would share it on social media. Tag me. I love to know what you’re learning as you are embarking on your money journey with me. So have a great week and I will talk to you next week. Bye.

Thank you so much for listening to Money Files. If you’re ready to take the next step to reach your financial goals, head to www.wealthovernow.com/appointment and let’s get started.

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