If you are ready to stop budgeting, then you aren’t doing it right.

The truth is that budgeting is something that you make into a habit. If you are doing it correctly, you should keep doing it for the remainder of your life. Budgeting is a way to make your goals a reality. You will always have goals, so you are never finished with your budgeting. Your future will keep coming.

That in mind, you have to remember that budgets are not written in stone. Your budget could change next month. It is basically a way to keep track of the efficiency of your finances. When your income changes, your budget changes. When your needs change, your budget should change. If you find that your budgeting goals are unrealistic, you should change that portion of your budget.

By making the tracking of your budget part of your monthly financial work, you will be able to see if it is working for you or not. If it isn’t, you need to make the necessary changes.

One of the first things that new budgeters see is that they have cut their expected spending for food, gasoline and entertainment way too much. It is simply unrealistic to believe you can cut your grocery spending in half over night. Challenge yourself at a slower speed. Aim to spend $20 less than normal this month. Then challenge yourself again next month. Take small steps and let yourself adapt.

Things happen that can throw your budget all over the place. You simply have to keep working at budgeting. I know that if you lose your job or have a medical emergency, the last thing on your mind is your budget. However, it could be the one thing that keeps you feeling as if you are in control of your finances.

Your budget will help you achieve your goals. When you have achieved them, you need to move onto new goals. For example, you have worked hard and are now comfortably retired. Now what? You may want to travel or start a new hobby. Your budgeting will take you into the next stage of your financial life.

Keep in mind that your budget should work towards the future, but remain in the now. In other words, do not spend your money on what you think you will have tomorrow. If you are planning on a raise, don’t go out and use your credit card thinking you will pay it off when the raise comes through. You never know what could happen. This is extremely risky. Stay in the right now with your budgeting. When your income actually changes, reassess your budgeting accordingly.

Budgeting gives you back the control of your money. Once you are really successful with your budgeting, you will want to continue to challenge yourself. It is easy to become comfortable and let the budgeting lapse. But remember, if you want to remain financially successful, you can never finish your budget. Keep working towards your goals by using your budget wisely.

Martin Lukac
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