Today let's talk about your Money House. Specifically how your spending habits can contribute to it looking like something from a horror movie instead of a warm and inviting place.
I've talked before and with clients about how your budget is like the blueprint for a house. It is the plan. The thing that gives direction to where the walls need to be put up, doors installed, how large the foundation is, how many floors, etc. There is another, equally important part about building a house though. Follow-through.
When a house is being built, the contractors and builders should be consistently referring back to the original plan to ensure they are sticking to it. This also helps catch deviations and determine how necessary they are. If they are sufficiently critical to the structure, the plan can change to accommodate them. Though the plan shouldn't change very often. You may be a bit put off if you wanted two stories with 3 bedrooms, but the plan changed without your input to just one story and you lost a bedroom.
How many months have you tried to budget, but not followed through by tracking your spending against your plan? Your daily spending is what "builds" the money house. If that spending isn't regularly checked against the plan or your budget, you can start making deviations without considering their necessity. Before too long, you've built yourself a ramshackle, creepy place due to your spending decisions.
You can combat this though. I encourage you to track every expense, every purchase, every splurge against your plan, your budget. This way, the plan and its limits can stay fresher in your mind. Paired with the habit of checking your budget every day, you can more consistently work toward a money house you can be proud of instead of being scared to go into.