Today’s money hack is related to saving and earning money with a purpose in mind.
When it comes to personal finance, lots of people struggle to control their spending and improve their savings. Sometimes this struggle can be traced back to a lack of motivation or the perception that budgeting itself is a cumbersome and dull task. There are a few ways to beat a personal finance burnout (or budgeting burnout) and get back on track.
1. Earn and save money with a purpose in mind
Try link your budgeting attempts to a goal for the whole family. This goal could be something short-term like buying a new television, or saving up for school supplies, or something long-term like saving up for a vacation, wedding, house, retirement or a child’s college education. This way, the motivation for saving every possible penny or cent is strong and relevant for every member of the household. The added bonus is that it teaches your kids good personal finance skills.
When you set a goal for your budget, the goal itself encourages you to continue managing your money prudently, whether it is by saving more money or earning more money. You’ll be surprised what a huge difference the right motivation can make towards your financial independence efforts.
This strong driving force for an increase in savings and income can remove the reluctance that is often associated with changing your lifestyle to cut unnecessary expenses.
2. Make budgeting a fun activity for yourself
It is essential that the budgeting activity it enjoyable for you and your family because it makes the task easier. There are different ways to add fun to your personal finance spreadsheets, and one such way is to get creative with the labels and headings you use. We’ve touched this topic in a brief blog post here.
3. Involve the whole family in the budgeting activity
When budgeting becomes an inclusive activity, the momentum of the whole group can carry each individual forward. We’ve written about getting your kids to participate in the budgeting activity because there are a few merits to this, such as more ideas about cutting costs and a more acceptance toward the agreed-upon lifestyle changes called for by the budget. Certainly, there is also the added advantage of greater momentum pushing everyone to complete the budgeting activity each month.
4. Set a splurge budget to reward your frugal behavior
After a long month of penny pinching, everyone deserves a break – a splurge budget dies exactly that! A splurge budget, which could be anything from 5-15% of your income, prevents the feeling of self-deprivation from putting a damper on your frugal efforts. Whether this reward money pays for your daily lattes of the monthly trip to a fancy restaurant, is entirely up to you. You deserve a pat on the back for all the hard work put in to earn/save more money through side-hustles, extra shifts at your job, cutting back on luxury items and stretching every dollar. A splurge budget will reward you for your efforts, and motivate you to keep at it to achieve your financial independence goals.
Further reading: 10 ways to save money by HM Treasury, UK Government.