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Is It Time To Break Up With Your Budget?

Are bad budgeting habits clinging to your finances like a doomed relationship? No amount of flowers, chocolate or boom box serenades can mend your broken bank account, so it might be time to kick them to the curb. These classic breakup lines may help you part ways with the budgeting habits that are hardest to break.

“We've just grown apart.”

Budgets, like people, change. It’s important to confront those changes head-on and review your budget frequently, especially if it’s no longer working for you. 

Examine the amount you’re spending and how you’re spending it. Then, create a new budget that supports the lifestyle you want to live today and in the future.

“Can we still be friends?”

Maybe you started out strong a few months ago, but now it’s just not working. Like a relationship, a budget is a work in progress and can be adjusted. But if one budgeting style doesn’t work for you, keep looking for your match. 

For example, the 60-40 budget may work for someone who likes to prioritize essential expenses, like mortgage payments or rent. On the other hand, an individual who favors intentional spending across the board may prefer the zero-based budget.

“It's not you, it's me.”

If you find yourself consistently overspending, not meeting goals or missing important payments, it may be time to admit you might be the problem. To get a clear idea of where your money is going, try a seven-day budget cleanse by tracking every item you spend money on.

Our downloadable budgeting worksheet may help you get started. Take a close look at your real spending habits and see where you could make some changes for improved financial success. And if you decide you like the accountability of tracking everything, you might consider learning more about the line-item budget or the cash-based envelope budget.

“I'm ready for something serious.”

After you’ve had a successful run with your budget, you may be ready to set up a more serious one for long-term success. Consider restructuring your budget to help reach long-term goals like saving for a dream vacation or a down payment on a new vehicle. Some budgeting styles focus on your savings goals and are designed to help you identify the most important ways to allocate your money by paying yourself first.

“I'm just not that into you.”

Know what you want, and your current budget isn’t it? Get inspired by uncovering new ways to learn how budgeting can lead to financial success. Consider listening to the “Budgeting on Your Own” podcast episode of Our Two Cents or visit the free Creating a Budget Module at KEYS® Online.

Contrary to popular belief, breakups don’t always have to be bad. Sometimes breaking up with your budget is the fresh start you need. 

Lori Tutt
By Lori Tutt, GM Financial

From cars and movies to great works of literature, Lori Tutt has a passion for the classics. She’s never claimed to be good with numbers but can readily find the right words to describe money matters like budgets, investments and understanding credit. And when she’s stressed, she turns it around with desserts (or clever wordplay).


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