Trying to Stick to a Budget? First, Master Your Mindset

by Meredith Morris

Financial Frequency. myCash

August 14, 2019 .3 min read

Do you know what one of the biggest obstacles to saving money that we all face? Saying “no.” 

Before you're quick to disregard that statement, let's get real for a second. When was the last time you Googled "top budgeting tips of 2019", "budgeting tips to save money" or any search that pertained to saving?

The honest truth here is that while we're all looking for the latest tips and tricks on how to save money, our ability to budget and save, all lies with one word that can ultimately save thousands, that’s if we allow it to.

If we learned to say "no" more frequently throughout our lives, we could not only save a bit more, but we can also eliminate some unnecessary stress.

But saying "no" is hard. In fact, it's really hard.

A prime example of that is saying "no" to plans with friends. After all, how can you say "no" to your friend when they ask you to go to the brand new restaurant you’ve been DYING to try? Saying "no" becomes a little bit more complicated, doesn't it?

But you can learn to say it and say it a bit more often.

The easiest way to start being more comfortable with saying "no" is to map out your long-term goals and figure out what has stopped you in the past from achieving them.

Why aren’t you saying "no"?

Ever find yourself saying "yes" to something just to please others? Just because it's easier to go along with it? 

While saying "yes" may initially be easier, if it's not bringing you joy and putting a dent in your wallet, is it truly worth it?

Maybe the answer here is "yes, it is still worth it." If that's true, remember that striking a balance with your yes and no's are important.

Get clear around your goals.

Be clear with yourself about what you want to achieve and what it's worth to you. 

What does your future look like? 

What is your biggest financial priority? 

It may be eliminating debt, saving for a home, creating a longterm financial plan, or all of the above. But whatever the goal is, take a moment to figure out the steps you need to take to achieve this goal. Does it call for micro-goals? Click here and scroll down a bit for our section on creating "mico-goals to help you achieve that bigger goal." After you've figured that out, here's the most important, stick to your goal. Being clear around your priorities will make it easier to start saying no.

Say "no" to yourself.

Those three birthday parties this month and your coworker’s going away party next week could be the reason you fall short of your monthly savings goal. While learning to say "no" to others is important, it’s also important to start saying 'no" to yourself more often.

So, the next time you find yourself falling for those alluring Instagram ads or that reoccurring order that Amazon wants you to have, just say "no."

Plan for fun.

To make saying "no" just a little bit easier, make sure you plan for some fun. Put some money aside in your budget to do something you’ve really been wanting to do. Knowing you have something to look forward to that’s within your budget will help you feel better about saying no. 

Or, if your friends are looking to hang out, suggest an activity where you know you’ll be able to avoid spending money. Most of the time they’ll be just as glad to save a few bucks just like you are. Watch a movie at home, have happy hour on someone’s back deck, or look up free activities to do in your city or town. 

Be aware of your mindset.

If saying "no" all the time is really starting to bum you out, that will change your mindset around saving entirely. 

Make sure you're able to strike a balance so that you're not totally worn down and unmotivated. Your mindset is everything when it comes to financial planning. 

If you start to have a really negative outlook, you most likely won’t stick to your plan. So, keep in mind that sometimes saying "yes" to things that sound really fun will help you say "no" to other plans down the road. It will help create the balance that you need to stay on track.

With that, know yourself and what motivates you to stay happy and positive around your plan. Not only will this help you stick to your current plan, but it will help you with any plans you set in the future. 

You’ll be surprised at how quickly your money will accumulate by sticking to your plan and saying no a little more often.