Have you ever tried to start a budget but were always unsuccessful with it or found it way too complicated? I have! I’ve wanted to get serious with my money since 2014 (that’s 5 years ago!). I didn’t succeed with budgeting until January 2019 (6 months ago) when I was completely lost and drowning from all of my minimum payments. It was costing me my peace of mind which is where I finally drew the line.
It was New Year’s Eve and I was mindlessly scrolling on social media when I was stopped by this quote:
“It’s not about how much you make, but how much you keep…”Robert Kiyosaki
I had been living that YOLO lifestyle and have neglected my finances. I kept chasing credit card reward points and in doing so, I accumulated more debt than I realized which tanked my credit score. I was hit with so many overdraft fees and was constantly wondering where my money went. I was so lost wondering how I felt so broke while making good money. I was not keeping anything at all and was constantly in the red. I needed to get myself together.
I had been experiencing high levels of stress and frequent anxiety attacks which were starting to get really frustrating. I later realized that I was unhappy with where I was in my career and felt trapped because I was way too dependent on my salary. My bills were dictating my destiny. After realizing what the problem was, I made a dream board of what my ideal life in the future looked like. I needed to visualize my destination so that I can create a plan on how to get there.
To give you an idea, this is what my dream board looked like then:
P.S. This was a personal dream board that I created for myself with the use of Google images so I do not own the photos used. I’m sharing to give you an idea of how to create one.
I have followed many financial gurus in the past but I never really applied any of their teachings until that day. I immediately listed all of my outstanding balances. From that, I was able to make smart, educated decisions on how to manage my money. I created a budget and a plan to get out of debt. Seeing that negative net worth really lit up the fire under me to get going.
Having a long-term plan will help you make smart short-term decisions.
Here are 5 reasons why mindset is key to a successful budget:
1. Discipline: Keeps you focused
Once you have a visual of your ideal future, it will be so much easier to stay focused on your goals while you are on your journey to financial freedom. You will make smarter decisions when you have your long-term goals in mind. Suddenly, you’ll find it easy to turn off your need for instant gratification because you know that even the small dollars will make a difference in your budget and timeline.
2. Drive: Gives you purpose
You know that your sacrifices will be worth it and your hard work will pay off! Your struggles will give you pride because you know it’s only temporary. You start to believe in yourself. You start to get excited to see the end of the tunnel. Without the right mindset, you will easily quit once you start to feel uncomfortable. You won’t have the drive to fight to free your future self. You won’t see your true potential. Hold tight to the idea of freedom and nothing will phase you even when times are rough. You’ll be surprised how much you can flex those hustler muscles.
3. Change: Form better habits
As mentioned in #1, you will start to see every role in every dollar. Your overall attitude towards money changes. You start seeing money as a tool towards freedom rather than the reward. You will no longer find joy in unnecessary spending. You’ll feel so much more at ease when you know where your money is going and find joy in being smart with your money. You won’t feel the need to flaunt what you’ve got because you’re far more concerned about real wealth than the display of it. You’ll rest easy knowing that while everyone waits to live their lives after retirement at 65, you’ll be enjoying life way before that. Welcoming change in your spending habits and attitude towards money will drive you to constantly check on your bank accounts to see if aligns with your budget.
4. Positivity: Winner mentality
Positivity may be a cliché but it truly is a great driver for budgeting. Hopelessness got me in a lot of debt because I thought there was no way I could pay it back. I thought “well, I’m going to take this debt to my grave anyway, might as well go all out. YOLO!” But the thing is, there IS a way out. You have to crunch those numbers and start to believe there’s a way out. Staying positive when an unexpected expense or event comes through, will help you stay on track with budgeting.
5. Courage: Take control
Being in a terrible financial situation turns your world upside down. Having the courage to face your fears and problems head-on will propel you on your way to debt freedom. Once you get over the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness, take courage and plow ahead! Take control of your money and don’t let it ever control you again. I am not in the investing stage yet but I imagine that once you get there, it will also take courage to take risks.
Remember, you are bigger than your problems. It’s not about how you fall, it’s about how you get up. So pivot and dust yourself off, hustler! Change the trajectory of your future today by focusing on your budget.
Thank you so much for reading! It feels good to be back and blogging again. If you are ready to start taking control of your finances today, check out my post on How to start a budget >>