How to create a stickable budget
— Doing a budget is the easy part. Sticking to it is the tricky part. —
“The system Matt taught me has given me a new sense of clarity, freedom and confidence. I finally feel that financial management is no longer a burden.”Leah Dowsett
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About the guide: How to Stick to a Budget
Doing a budget is the easy part. Sticking to it is the hard part.
That’s why most people who do a budget don’t end up saving.
Often we assume that struggling to stick to a budget is our fault. It’s not a character flaw, it’s a design flaw in the systems we’ve tried.
Try to resist the tempting buffet
I’ve never been to a buffet and not overeaten. How about you?
Even if you’d given me a spreadsheet listing my ration of what I could eat, I’m not confident I’d have the willpower in the moment to resist. Can you relate?
That’s okay if I only go to a buffet occasionally. If I had a buffet at every meal, I’d probably be overweight.
When it comes to money, our reality is that we live in a buffet of abundant temptation. We are surrounded by things to buy and do, and immersed in marketing messages.
Willpower is fickle so resistance is hard.
And when we have all of money sloshing around in one bank account, plus access to credit it’s easy to indulge.
Doing a ‘budget’ won’t work
Budgeting spreadsheets don’t work, just like a ration list doesn’t work at a buffet.
They define what you can afford (your rations), but give you no guidance on how to stick to it in the face of abundant temptation.
So, if all you do is fill out a budget spreadsheet you’ll probably just depress yourself and won’t end up saving much in the end.
Temptation is not the only challenge
Even people with good willpower struggle to consistently save.
Too often unexpected expenses cause us to dip into our savings, until there’s none left.
Most budgeting spreadsheets don’t address this challenge, which is their other flaw.
To stick to a budget you need a system
To achieve your goals and afford what you really want you need a system that supports you to resist temptation and accommodate the unexpected.
Your budgeting system needs to be personalised to the actions that suit your situation and personality, just like a diet or exercise program.
In my guide “How to Stick to a Budget” I reveal:
- Two principles to designing a budgeting system you can stick to
- 10 key elements to incorporate in your budgeting system
- My model for defining what is truly affordable, and building a better budgeting spreadsheet.
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About the author, Matt Hern CFP
I am a specialist budgeting coach who helps people create a budget they can stick to so they can spend smarter, reduce debt and achieve their saving goals.
What’s different about my budgeting advice is that I use the latest behavioural science to design a personalised budgeting system you can stick to.
Since 2003 I’ve advised people on the right financial decisions to achieve their goals, working as a Certified Financial Planner™ professional.
Clients I’ve advised have achieved goals such as being mortgage-free by age 40 and having both parents able to work part-time while their children are young.
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More confident and in control
Working with Matt has changed the way I think about and behave with my money in a new and positive way.
He was thoughtful and knowledgeable in guiding me towards more healthy money habits. I now feel more confident and in control of my money, which I never thought was possible!