When you start saving money and cutting things out and then paying things off, you usually start out very strong and determined.
As you go along however, you start feeling the crunch of always being stuck in the same Ferris wheel of squeezing and stretching every penny you have.
You can actually go into budget burn out and this is what I am going to talk about today.
You just paid 15000 thousand in the last six months and have much more to go, it’s important to not drive yourself nuts over it. Look behind you and how much more you had to pay and where you are at now. You are doing great and remind yourself everyday just how great you are doing.
Recognize that the road ahead may be long, but remind yourself to take a step back and let it do what it’s supposed to, trying to not stress on it so much. At the beginning I would obsess daily with it because I wanted it to get moving and that was good, but now we have a bill that will be paid in only a years’ time. So I need to check it weekly but let my budget do what it’s meant to do.
Concentrate on other things like how to enjoy your life on a budget. Use some of the stuff you have bought over the years and haven’t used, and use it. Skates, kayaks etc… You know what I’m talking about.
Usually living on less brings on buying less and that makes us a people who are more inclined to sit in a nice location and enjoy nature instead of spending them at malls looking for the next hot buy. This can also get a little boring too if you have years of this.
The next thing is, if you saved $1200 a month in what you used to spend like we did. Don’t be afraid to use a bit of that to go out to dinner. Everyone says to keep it on the frugal side, but I went out to dinner with hubby this weekend to Red Lobster where we usually spent close to $100 because we always used to buy the signature meals. This time we went just before lunch, before the rush and ordered the make your own meal which was a fraction of the cost and even adding a side to it kept it cheaper but still much more deflated than the other plates. We ended up with a very good meal for under $50 for both.
We did the same at a wood stove pizza place we loved and spent a little less by passing on the drinks where they charge you $3 a drink.
(I know that is not seafood or pizza, but put this pic from our meal in Quebec city where we savored another fantastic meal worth every morsel. There is just nothing quite like good food)
We ended up going to our 2 favorite places to eat and spent around $100. So this month we only have $1100 to put on debt. SO WHAT?
Six months ago we were spending double that without saving any money and adding to our debt. Now we can do our fav restaurants economically and still put a fair amount of money on our debt. Where is the guilt? Because we wanted a few dollars to eat out? Naw… You can’t do that to yourself. You need to be smart with your money, but regardless as to what all the hell bent gurus have to say, my husband and I believe that everyone needs a break and do the stuff they love in order to keep their sanity.
There are ways to still enjoy stuff. You just have to be smart about it.
Example: We were going to a place that charged $15 for breakfast and found another that only charged $10 and decided to do that one instead. Coming up to $5 each (not too shabby is you ask me).
It’s not much, but we do our Saturday breakfast thing almost every weekend, so $5 a week saved or $20 a month starts showing up in the books. It’s $240 in a year. And every little bit helps.
And we didn’t have to give up anything and we still end up saving.
Do what you want but always be on the lookout for a better deal or free which is always my favorite. And do your research for fun and ask questions. Never stop.
And if you need a break from the same old stuff, it’s alright once in a while to just break from “the die trying budget”. You have to find a happy medium anyways, because if you can’t stand living like this now, how will you do it when you retire. It’s better to know what you can live on comfortably now and adjust to what you want to do now than to try to do it with less later and be miserable.
Keep going, don’t give up. Slow down if you need to. Find other things to think about and be good to yourself. Remember that even if you are not moving as fast forward as you were before, if you are moving forward, you are still a step in the right direction.
We are actually saving a lot of money on certain things so we have money to spend on the stuff we actually want to spend on. So in our case it’s guilt free.
We are on this planet for just a short time. Try to enjoy every moment. You can be careful and frugal without making yourself miserable. Just remember that! And save yourself from a ‘budget burn out’.