Today’s personal finance tip is about avoiding budgeting burnout, also known as frugal fatigue.
If you’ve been counting every dollar that goes through your budget each month and are growing weary of the entire process, you might be suffering from ‘budgeting burnout’, or frugal fatigue, as some people call it. According to How Stuff Works: Money, the definition of budgeting burnout is the emotional and mental toll that results from carefully weighing each purchase decision.
If you feel you’re no longer motivated to direct your efforts towards careful financial planning, you’re not alone. Financial worries are pretty common these days and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. In milder cases, you may feel like skipping the idea of budgeting for a month or two, but in more extreme situations, you may react and go on an unnecessary shopping spree.
It’s pretty easy to compare this to a strict and unrealistic diet plan, so the solutions are also similar. Here are four ideas we can think of to prevent frugal fatigue, aka, budgeting burnout:
- Make a splurge expense category to allow mini-rewards for good financial discipline (Source: Time Magazine),
- Make the budgeting process fun, and,
- Involve your family members in the budgeting process to create an environment of teamwork and mutual support.
- Link your frugal efforts to a goal or dream you aspire to and stay motivated.
Each link points to another, more detailed article about dealing with frugal fatigue.
Of course, there are many other ways to prevent this feeling and different techniques work for different people. You simply have to give these solutions a shot and see what suits you most, while avoiding the temptation to reverse the benefits you have worked so hard to achieve.
Remember, the road to financial well-being is long, and a slow yet steady approach works better than anything else.