I've mentioned the process to start building a budget and living on it a lot in my writings here. While that is all well and good, what if you have been trying to build a budget and it just doesn't seem to click?
You've set out your foundation and four walls. Then, as life tends to do, everything else starts coming up. Extra spending for household cleaners, laundry detergent, pet food. Maybe you started the process just two months before your semi-annual car insurance payment is due and that wasn't in the budget. Being so focused on trying to do the first steps "right" you completely forget about a trip planned six months ago that happens next week and isn't in the budget!
Each and every one of these instances is like a cut or a scrape you incur during a fall while learning to ride a bike or skateboard. Gravity takes over, you tumble down, and drag parts of you over the pavement. It hurts! Perhaps you also feel a bit of shame that you, a coordinated and well-adjusted individual, struggle so much with something seemingly so simple. If I may, allow me to encourage you.
There will be stumbles. There will be pain. You will forget things that need to be accounted for. Building a strong budget takes time and intentional effort. However, when you stumble, fall, and incur minor or major pain, I encourage you to get back up. Clean off any wounds, acknowledge where they are, why they hurt, and what part of the process seemingly caused you to stumble.
Then get right back to it.
Perhaps you feel you need to start over with your budget from scratch again. Do it!
Some of the categories you started with may have limits that don't work now. Update them!
You've paid the car insurance but don' know what to do next time. Use a sinking fund!
Keep getting back up and taking the next step forward. Try again. Keep trying and don't give up until you have mastered the tools and habits to budget successfully.
Imagine the impact you can have on your family, friends, and community both as you work this out and when you've gotten it down.