3 Ways to Make Budgeting More Enjoyable
It’s rare to see fun and finances in the same sentence, but budgeting doesn’t have to be an exercise in misery. Nothing can take all of the work and planning out of the budgeting process, but it’s relatively easy to turn it into a game. Turning budgeting into a pleasant task instead of a tedious chore makes it much easier to stick to the budget over time, so most people can benefit from taking a few steps to make budgeting more fun.
Have Little Goals
Most people enjoy meeting their goals, even when those goals are small. Modern game developers make people come back to their apps by implementing tiny goals that the player can fulfill every few minutes. There’s no reason why a budgeter can’t use a similar technique to make their budgeting more fulfilling.
Start by identifying your financial goals, such as saving money for a trip, or cutting down on expenses. Once you have identified the big goals, find a way to cut them down into a set of little goals. For example, focus on finding a way to put ten dollars into the bank every week instead of looking for a way to deposit one hundred dollars all at once. Plan the budget to accomplish these little goals regularly. This creates a constant sense of achievement that makes budgeting much more pleasant.
Find A Community
Humans are pack animals, so they usually find it easier to do things when a lot of other people are performing the same task. The people in the group can offer reassurance that what they’re doing is worthwhile, and they can also provide practical advice when necessary. The group’s members can also hold each other accountable during hard times, which motivates people to stick to their budget.
Take advantage of humanity’s tribal instincts by finding other people who care about budgeting. Meeting with people in person is usually best, but an online community is almost as good. Groups that focus on using coupons or other frugal practices are especially useful, since they can provide practical advice that makes budgeting easier in addition to offering the support that makes it more enjoyable.
Competition can motivate people to keep going even when they want to quit. Competitive budgeting is possible in a group, but most of the benefits can also come from challenging yourself. This method is particularly useful for people who are already comfortable with the basics of budgeting, but are having a hard time bringing themselves to cut things out of the budget.
Start with a budget that you know you can handle, and then find something small that you can cut out of it. It should be a minor luxury, like reducing an expensive trip to the coffee shop with a cheap cup from a gas station. Challenge yourself to cut that item out of the budget for two or three weeks as a trial period, and then see how you feel. Humans purchase many things more out of habit than any desire for them, so many people find that they don’t miss their old luxuries after they break the habit. Turning it into a challenge feels better than thinking of it as a loss, so it makes it easy to break the habit and save money.