One of the biggest concerns people have about taking on a budget coach is that they are fearful that when going through learning how to budget, they will be told they can no longer spend on something that is really important to them. Fortunately, this is rarely ever the case. As a personal budget coach at Grandma’s Jars, my primary concern is not so much what you spend your money on, but how much you spend relative to what you earn. The Golden rule of money management simply states – you cannot spend more than you earn. This is the mantra of every good budget coach.
You know you should be budgeting. In fact, like most people you have probably tried to but just can’t seem to stick with it. It’s okay for a week or two, maybe even a month but… well, you know, life gets busy you fall behind for a couple of days and then it’s just too hard to catch up again. You feel guilty for letting it go but after a while the memory of your budget fades and you return to your old ways. For a while it seems to be going just fine, that is until your next financial crisis arrives! Sounds familiar? Like dieting, studying or exercising, sticking to a budget can be really difficult at times. We all have good intentions. We know we could do better with our money but it is so easy to give in when faced with time pressures, unexpected expenses and new shiny things that test our willpower. Today I want to share with you 3 budgeting tips that you can use to help overcome lack of discipline when sticking to a budget:
Waiting for the perfect time I love talking to people about budgeting. I know it’s a bit geeky, some would say a bit weird. However, the reality is 15 years of being a budget coach has taught me that a good budget can positively change the course of person’s life forever. Most people know that they should budget and they know they would be better off if they did but for some reason years come and go and, well, it just still hasn’t happened! One of the biggest reasons most people fail to ever get started is that they are waiting for the perfect time to get started. I’ll often hear things such as, I want to start a budget but I am just waiting until – I have started my new job, I have got a pay rise, I have moved out of home, I have finished studying, I have paid off my debt, the kids have started school, I have more time!
I will often meet people who, despite being in a bad financial situation, are seriously resistant to the idea of budgeting. Their biggest concern is that a budget will constrain them, that they won’t be free to spend on the things they want to spend on. While in some sense this might be true, I would argue that there is no fun or satisfaction in spending money you don’t have, even if it is on ‘stuff’ you really want. In this blog I want to share with you four ways in which a good budget will give you freedom. Freedom from guilt We have all heard of buyer’s remorse; that sense of guilt that comes over us when we have bought something and know we can’t afford it or really don’t need it. Buyer’s remorse typically comes on immediately after a purchase and robs us of the enjoyment that we hoped we would derive from the purchase. When our finances are a little out of control, it can be very hard to spend money on ourselves and really enjoy it. In the back of our minds there are nagging thoughts about the upcoming (or overdue) bills and expenses. Guilt associated …
How much have you spent this week? Do you know? Okay, so have a think back, what have you spent money on today? How about this week? How much has it added up to? Do you know? If you are like most people, you haven’t really thought about how much you have spent over the last few days. Your first thought is probably – not much, I haven’t really been anywhere to spend money. But what about the bought lunches, morning coffees, take away and parking?
The power of a coach The only thing that matches my passion for budget coaching is my love of long distance running. Through my twenties and early thirties I spent many weekends competing in half marathons, marathons and cross country races. I loved nothing better than heading off into the bush on a Sunday morning with the dog and good friends for a 30-35km run. While I raced in the NSW Marathon team for a few years at the National Championships and held a couple of course records, I never really fulfilled my potential. I trained too hard, never rested enough, paced myself poorly and spent half the time injured. I often wondered what I could have achieved had I found a good coach that was genuinely interested in me, a coach that understood me, a coach that could help me develop a long term plan and was there to make sure I rested when I needed to rest.
Spend any time with me and you will very quickly understand that I am passionate about helping people develop the skills and habits they need to be successful at managing money and managing debt. Over the past 15 years I have worked with many hundreds of couples and individuals to help them overcome debt and build a strong financial foundation. In short I love what I do and am extremely good at it. I don’t tell you this to ‘toot my own trumpet’ but rather to add weight and perspective to the rest of this blog. Debt management and getting out of debt is never easy but experience has taught me that with perseverance and the right strategy you can pay off credit cards, personal loans, car loans etc a lot faster than you think.
‘Chains of habits are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken’ – Warren Buffett As a financial adviser, I have read many of Warren Buffett’s books and quotes but it wasn’t until recently that I came across this one.
Over the years we have had a lot of clients tell us that despite being referred to Grandma’s Jars by trusted friends or family they were initially very hesitant to try budget coaching. They knew they could do with some help getting their finances sorted but the idea of sharing intimate details about their spending habits and finances to anyone, let alone a stranger, was very disconcerting. At Grandma’s Jars we understand that talking to a stranger about your finances can be a very difficult thing to do. Admitting we need the help is often the first hurdle but then there is the fear that we will be judged or ridiculed for the financial mess we find ourselves in. In this blog post I want to address some of these concerns or misconceptions by outlining what budget coaching is (and isn’t) at Grandma’s Jars. A Budget Coach Doesn’t Tell You What You Can and Can’t Spend Money On We often find that our clients are initially fearful that by taking on a budget coach they will lose control over what they can and can’t spend their money on – this is not true. The golden rule of money management is …