When you're approaching budgeting mastery, avoiding budget burnout is definitely something you want to focus on.
The process of learning how to budget can be intense and difficult, especially when you’re getting started. But, once you get on a roll, it can actually be kind of fun.
I know, I know, I sound like a budget nerd. But don't worry, you will too. Or at least I want you to.
Then, one of the big potential pitfalls in budgeting, especially when you’re in the “debt elimination” process is the problem of 'budget burnout'.
This is where you’ve gotten into a groove, but the intensity and somewhat restrictive nature of the process can tend to wear on your nerves.
Budget burnout is what we want to avoid. For sure...
The first thing I’ll say about this is that you will very likely experience burn out at some point. So, just expect it and try too prepare for the likelihood.
The key to defeating it will be how you actually deal with that burnout when it arrives all stinky and whatnot.
Your response will determine your continued success or whether you veer back off into a ditch.
This is where being a part of a support group or having the help of a coach will be pivotal.
If you’re trying to Lone Ranger it out there, this is where you can get into trouble.
At the point in the process where you’ve hit the wall and are experiencing burnout, is a great time to take a timeout with yourself and/or your spouse to remember why you decided to engage in this process in the first place.
What got you to the point of being “sick and tired of being sick and tired?”
Sometimes conjuring up all of the past situations and the moment or moments that were turning points for you can help you dredge up that little bit of motivation to keep moving forward.
Staying inspired and motivated is pivotal. This video talks about how to "stay started".
Even though I’ve been out of debt for almost ten years now, I still consume tons of personal finance content YouTube just about every day.
There is something about listening to other people's stories and struggles that helps to keep me motivated, even as a coach.
I’m constantly consuming content like his that helps me to stay on track with budgeting, savings and investment goals.
As a matter of fact if you haven't already, I'd love to have you check out our YouTube. In fact, here's a "Quick Start" series we did not too long ago:
Staying motivated and inspired is actually a huge reason that I blog and coach. You guys help me tremendously!
Fortunately, there are many and increasing numbers of blogs, YouTube channels and other resources that can help you fill your daily/weekly motivation bucket.
Consume, share and keep your bucket full!
If you're getting a little fried, don't be afraid to switch it up.
If you and your partner have had certain responsibilities and they’re wearing on you, don’t be afraid to switch those up.
By the same token if you’re using a certain budgeting tool and have found limitations or you’ve just gotten bored, switch that up as well.
This process is all about learning as much as you can and sharing as much of the burden as is possible.
Switching things up can put you in a position of possibly needed vulnerability and therefore strengthen your relationships and your resolve to eliminate your debt.
Take a little time. Get away. Like Stephen Covey says, "sharpen the saw".
Please don’t misread this one! I don’t mean take a break from budgeting.
What I mean is reward yourself, wisely and in a way that keeps the 'train on the tracks'.
Going out and buying a Gucci purse for every month you’ve gotten your budget right, might be counter productive. :)
But, if you can build in small and reasonable rewards for certain milestones or repeated positive behaviors, that could prove to be super helpful to keep you from going back into the ditch.
So, these are some things I recommend to subscribers and clients that help them navigate budget burnout.
What are some of your ideas? What did you do to navigate burnout when it visited you in the past.
Please share your stories in the comments below.
0. Stop All Retirement Investing (Until Step 4)2. Starter Emergency Fund of $10003. Eliminate Debts Smallest To Largest (a.k.a The Debt Snowball)4. Full Emergency Fund of 3-6+ Months’ Expenses5. Invest A Minimum of 15% Income Into Retirement Accounts (and increase savings rate to 50%+ if possible)6. College Funding (if applicable)7. Pay Off The Home Mortgage8. Build Wealth, Serve, Be Ridiculously Generous And Go FI (Financial Independence)!