5 Ways to Prevent Budget Burnout
Frugal fatigue: it’s a new term Americans coined for their cumulative symptoms of financial fears, late-night worrying, and sky-high levels of economic anxiety.
You’ve probably read about the person who went on a strict diet and exercise regime to lose weight, only to pack on the pounds again when they’ve lost the drive – but did you know that the same can happen to your budgeting lifestyle, too? Here’s how to keep sticking to your budget without burning out!
Know why you’re budgeting
Is it because you want to buy a new luxury commodity you’ve been eyeing? Is it because you want to climb out of debt? Or is it because you think it’s high time you start whipping your finances into shape? Whatever your reason, keep it in mind always.
It’s your motivation to keep going until you’ve reached your goal or surpassed it. It’s how you can view your lifestyle changes as a means to an end, and not as a torturous deprivation.
Keep your goals reasonable
It’s great to have ambitious goals, but don’t over-do it. So you want to crack RM1 million in savings before you’re 25? That’s fantastic, but don’t set 25 years young as your deadline if you’re a 24-year-old fresh graduate with no savings in the bank!
Avoid the frustration and disappointment of failing to meet your budget’s goals. Instead of just one big goal, consider breaking it down into bite-sized pieces. Want that RM1 million? Start by aiming for RM10,000 in X months. You’ll get to that 7-figure savings someday!
Acknowledge your mile markers
One of the reasons you face budget burnout is because the end results seem so far away. Bring the figurative light at the end of the tunnel closer to you by acknowledging each milestone you reach.
If your goal is to save RM1 million, treat yourself when you’ve managed to save another RM100,000. You’re one step closer to achieving your goal and you know it because you’ve celebrated it!
Have a splurge budget
“All work and no fun makes Jack a dull boy.” Likewise, squirreling away every ringgit you earn except for basic necessities and expenditures will leave you living an empty life, slaving to serve a budget that your torture instead of motivation. You created your budget to achieve a goal, not to become miserable.
Set aside some money for the fun stuff. Even a small amount is fine. You can choose to do whatever you want to do with it: splurge it all on a once-a-month high-class dinner, break it into portions for weekend getaways, save it up for a big purchase. It’s your choice. The fact that you still have spending power will make your budget feel worthwhile and keep burnout at bay.
Control your budget
A budget is a means to take control of your finances; it is not meant to control your life. Your needs and wants will change as you grow, and your budget must adapt accordingly. Furthering your studies, for example, means higher expenses and little to no income. It is unrealistic to expect to save RM1,000 every month if you earn RM1,000 for your part-time job while you study!
If your circumstances can change, why can’t your budget? Don’t be afraid to adjust your budget as necessary so that it keeps your life frugal but comfortable.
Budget burnout is a very real risk, and the various enticing advertisements out there for the latest merchandise and services don’t help matters, but it’s totally avoidable if you know how to manage your budget. After all, you’re the captain of your own life!