I read an article recently that mentioned the problem with a budget is that it doesn’t give someone the incentive to save money.
It’s not really supposed to. A budget is a tool. It doesn’t make you save money.
A diet plan doesn’t lose weight for you.
A home management notebook doesn’t clean your house.
An alarm clock doesn’t make you get out of bed.
All of these things are helpful, but they are simply tools, and you still need to find your own motivation to make any changes.
Sara at On Simplicity recently said,
Breaking a bad habit isn’t about doing what’s “right.” It’s also not about paying absolution. It’s about finding something you simply want more, and weighing that cost whenever you’re tempted.
When you want to make changes, the motivation has to be big enough that the long-term reward is greater than short-term satisfaction. That’s why bad habits are so hard to break, because we love instant gratification, and we usually don’t see the consequences until later.
So what is it that you really want? (Or what do you want to avoid?)
- If I want to drink more water, then a water bottle might help, but my vanity’s desire for pretty skin will motivate me to use it.
- If I want a clean house, my desire for peaceful surroundings will make me clean up more than a posted schedule will.
- If I want to save money, then I need to think about my reasons why, because a budget won’t do the work for me.
Overcome a big goal simply by getting started. Things often seem too hard at the beginning, but if you get started, you gain momentum. Just take that first step.
Keep your motivation reminder close by, whether it’s on a post-it note, or a photo, or an inspiring quotation.