So you have your budget — are you sticking to it?

by Lisa on September 29, 2009

OK, so you’ve calulated the percentages and numbers for your personal budget. It looks good. X amount will go to your 401K, long term neccessities, Y amount will go to that new car you’ve been wanting and intermediate neccesities, etc…, and put it all together and you’re on your way to wealth building in no time! It looks all neat and tidy, right? A clear plan, now all you have to do is follow it. And you most likely do….at first. Just with any new endeavor, after the steam of the first excitement wears off, you start to slip back a little into old habits. Here are some tips to keep you going and motivated to stay on that budget.

1. Keep your eye on the prize! I know, a bit cliche and overused, but it doesn’t make it any less helpful. A big part in doing this is knowing what you want. Ask yourself what is it you’re aiming for. Have you clearly defined your goal? Or is it just a gist of what you want? (e.g. I’d like to buy a house soon vs. I want to save $10,000 for a down payment by the end of this year) Know your goal, and remind yourself of it. Before you take that spontaneous trip to Vegas with the girls, take a split moment to pause and think: Will this make me happier in the long run? If you think, yes, go for it! If no, well that brings me to my next point.

2. Delaying instant gratification. We’ve all been told that the key to success is not eating that marshmallow. It makes sense. Why go for something and get less, when you can wait just a bit longer and get more. This principal strongly applies to your budget. You want to make it to Rock Star level of the Personal Budget Plan because that’s where you can start investing, and when you invest – your money makes money. This doesn’t mean denying yourself pleasures but rather planning for them. A few impromptu sushi and sake nights after work, some impulse buying here and there, and before you know it your NOW budget will be greatly diminished before you’re halfway through the month. Plan your pleasures so you can truly enjoy them guilt free.

3. Cold hard cash. It’s nice when you have it, and it’s also so painful to let it go. So, use it! Debit and credit cards make spending money a breeze. Sure debit cards pull directly from your account, but you don’t see or feel it happen. The physical act of holding money and then giving it to someone else leaves a much stronger impression than swiping a card. Cash does have it’s downfalls like the fact that you won’t have a paper trail of your transaction, but this is just another motivator for you not to spend money you don’t need to. You’ll have to write down that spending in your budget. It’ll make you think twice about whether you really need that purchase.

So those are a just few tips you can do to keep yourself on your budget. See what works for you because in the end we each have our own unique formula for keeping ourselves motivated. Cheers and Good luck!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob Northrup September 29, 2009 at 7:22 pm

I find that putting some small amount of my savings in Gold and Silver gives me savings that are hard to spend on a whim, and very portable… Plus, they hold their purchasing power…

Seize the Day,
Emergency Preparedness For the 21st Century Family


Robert Martin September 29, 2009 at 7:41 pm

Point number 3 is a great one, especially for the generaltion of kids now. My daughter is 16 and thinks cards are bottomless. Should be a class in high school.

Robert Martin


Lisa McLellan September 29, 2009 at 11:14 pm

I can’t stick to a budget because every time I try, LIFE happens! Great article!

Lisa McLellan
Child Care Expert,
Babysitting Services, Babysitting Tips, Babysitters, Nannies


Jose Escalante September 30, 2009 at 1:51 am

Excellent advice

Jose Escalante


Kate McKeon October 3, 2009 at 1:28 am

Excellent advice. Will you remember that sake tomorrow, yes . . . for all th ewrong reasons. Will you remember that sake a year from now? No, unnless you had a reaaaaaallllly bad night. So, if necessary, skip the sake and double down on work. Life will balance in the long term. It’s not that each moment must be balanced, but the long term tilt of life is balanced.


Miss Mentor rocks!


Greg Dougall October 5, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Cool tips. I’ll try my best!

Greg Dougall, Philanthropist-in-Training


Greg Dougall October 19, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Boy, I sure with there was some sort of KIT full of TOOLS to help me manage my finances…

I’ll stay tuned!

Greg Dougall, Literary Agent


watch I am Number Four online March 2, 2011 at 4:10 pm


Thanks for sharing the link – but unfortunately it seems to be down? Does anybody here at have a mirror or another source?



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