Setting up a Budget That Works Without All The Stress

How to make a budget work so you can reach your money dreams

I hated budgeting and felt like I was a failure in handling money. Because the numbers never seemed to work out right. Every time. 

I’d overspend at the grocery store. Then be forced to juggle around the already limited dollars to make ends meet.

Debt payments loomed large. Another tuition payment for my hubby’s school was due. Income was irregular. Savings in the bank? Ha! Non-existent.

Inside: If you know you should budget, but still feel overwhelmed at where to start, here's how to create a successful budget so you can start reaching your money dreams.

It will get me where I want to go

I knew that I should be on a budget.
That’s the adult thing to do… right?? But it was so difficult. And stressful.
Where do I even start? How can I make this work?
So many things I wanted to do with money – pay off debt, stop living paycheck to paycheck, save, travel, get a house and on and on.

How do you start winning with money?

My frustration and stress over finances only fueled my desire. 

I’m not a quitter. I must find a way to make my budget work – so I can see my hubby graduate without any student loans. 

At first it was scratching and clawing. I thought budgeting would always be a panic inducing struggle. 

But now I know better. 

With more schooling ahead of us, I began reading everything I could find about how to budget successfully. Budget on an irregular income. Making a monthly budget work. 

Because you definitely can. 

But first, a note of caution

Is this what happens to you? 

1.You are in a financial pinch – needing money to pay rent/mortgage this month. So you scour the internet for ways to make your budget work, how to pay off debt, or build your savings. 

2.’Hey that’s a great idea’, you say, and bookmark the post for later. 

3. Next month, you have another financial crisis. You are just as overwhelmed and stressed as you were before. 

We all deal with this same thing, but I am going to tell you how you can prevent this and make a real change in your finances. 

A successful budget is more of a mindset shift rather than creating the perfect budget on paper where the numbers add up for once. 

Below I am going to share with you the most powerful tips that will help you make a mindset shift and create a successful budget that works every month, so you can finally reach your money dreams. 

Hey now, calm down!

Don’t be turned off by the word ‘mindset shift’.
I’m not saying that you need to be brainwashed, get nerdy glasses and a pocket protector, when you’d rather be making pizza for dinner.

  • Making mindset shifts happen when you have a reason why you are doing a budget.
  • When you can look ahead and focus on the dreams that you will be able to see happen as a result of creating systems for handling money.
  • When you commit to consistency – working on your budget weekly. I like to set a timer for 10-30 minutes at a time and do what I need to do.
  • When you improve your budget each month.

(For a complete guide to creating and living on a successful budget as a tool to reach your money dreams, check out my e-book, Budgeting Made Easy: Thriving on Any Income.)
Important note: If you find a bite sized piece of advice you like, stick with that one thing until you’ve got it down.

Get your copy: Budgeting Made Easy: Thriving on Any Income

Setting Up A Successful Budget So You Can Win With Money

Try any of these tips to budget successfully and you will push aside that tight feeling of money stress. Because you will actually be making a mind shift on how you handle money, which will change your family’s finances for good and help you reach your money dreams once and for all. 

It’s probably impossible to ever have a perfect budget. But with these techniques, you can have a successful budget and that’s what’s most important. 

With that comes a big disclaimer, trying to follow all the advice here at once is just going to overwhelm you and tempt you into giving up.

I’d much rather see you find one technique here that speaks to you and you can start applying – take the time to apply it well – and then the following month come back and apply one more. 

Each month your budget, and mine too, improves a little bit. All these small improvements add up to having a lifestyle marked by solid money management, with freedom from money stress. 

Not to mention having a successful budget will cause you to reach your money dreams, pay off debt, build savings, and do all the fun things that you’ve been wanting to do. 

Shall we get started?

Before you go: The important part I missed

When you start budgeting successfully, making small improvements each month, that overwhelm and money stress starts to melt away. You see that you are making changes and those changes are making progress towards making your money dreams a reality.

That huge decision to see my hubby graduate school without any debt, made out of utter desperation and feeling like I was completely failing at budgeting, has taught me an important lesson.

I’ve worked harder than I ever have. Paid off our debt within about 8 months of that desperate moment. Cash-flowed many semesters of rising tuition. Slowly built up savings and took a couple trips.

And in a couple of months, I will see my hubby graduate without any student loans and zero debt. 

As I found my reason why I was budgeting and kept taking the slow and steady approach, setting up a monthly budget and closing it out at the end of the month.

I overspent at times and money was still tight more often than I wanted. Somewhere along the journey, I woke up one day and realized I actually liked budgeting.

So much that I can talk for hours with excitement coloring my expressions and voice in order to help set up a budget for someone else.

I learned that striving for a perfect budget is the best way to bring defeat, but striving for a successful budget is manageable and brings lasting change to the family finances.

Download my free Prioritized Budget Worksheet

Your turn

What are the best tricks you have found in having a successful budget?

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