I’m not perfect with money either. For the most part I know what I need to do, but actually doing it – well that’s a different story.
A budget tells us what we can’t afford, but it doesn’t keep us from buying it – William Feather
Truer words were never spoken. That is one of my favorite quotes because it is so true. We can spend time creating our budget, putting it into fancy spreadsheets and planning our expenses. We can also ruin those plans in an instant with a bad financial decision or an unexpected emergency.
So why is it that budgeting is so hard? I think for me it’s time (or lack of), stress and being sleep deprived. When I’m in one of those modes, I tend to eat out more, go to the grocery store without a list (I know, gasp!) and find myself making unplanned purchases because I’m just to worn out to think of another alternative.
A budget is guide to get us to our financial goals, but it’s always a moving target. There are so many things that affect how we spend our money; some are out of our control. Our mood, our state of mind and our wants and needs effect what we buy. How many times have you thought you just had to have (insert x item here), just to find it shoved to the back of the closet a month later? I’ll admit, it’s happened to me more times than I’d like to count.
So what can we do? To be honest, I don’t know if I have an answer for that. I think we can try to avoid those situations by recognizing our trigger points, but it will never be perfect. We will all have those bad days where we spend more than we intend. The key is to stop while your ahead, know that tomorrow is a new day and get back on track again. Just like with a diet, a budget is something you have to continuously work at to make it a success.
So if you have a bad financial day, don’t beat yourself up. Just make sure those days don’t turn into weeks, months or years.