If you think of your finances as a house, then your budget is the foundation. A budget is a detailed plan for spending, saving and repaying debt if you have credit cards or loans you’re trying to pay off.
But making a budget and actually living by it are two different things. It’s relatively easy to create a budget plan outlining how much income you have for the month versus what you anticipate spending. The difficult part is adhering to the plan, day in and day out.
Creating a realistic budget means carefully reviewing the numbers, but it’s just as important to consider your financial habits and goals. These tips can help you get in tune with your budget so that it’s working for you, not against you.
1. Start With Your Budgeting Mindset
The first step in living your budget is understanding what it means to you and what you hope to gain from it. Whether you view your budget in a positive or negative light can influence your relationship with it.
For example, do you see your budget as something that allows you to take control of how you spend or something that puts restrictions on how you spend? At its heart, a budget is meant to be a tool for telling your money where to go each month. But if you view it as being restrictive or taking away your ability to do what you like with your money, you may be more tempted to rebel against it. If you’ve ever tried to diet, rather than to change your eating and exercise habits, you may have…