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Start Over, Try Again

We can sometimes find ourselves discouraged when building strong money habits. Perhaps the budget limits seem to constantly change or we keep adding categories that we forgot about. Even after an entire month of budgeting, things can seem to get out of control and we want to throw in the towel and give it up yet again.

Today, I'd encourage you to look at it a different way. Even if you have constantly changed the budget limits, that has given you more data on what a better limit might be for you. With groceries, you may find that over a few weeks you keep creeping the budget limit higher to cover costs. What if you took that data then set a limit that seems more comfortable than your first limit, and also look hard at what purchases are causing such great spending. It could be due to inflation, or it could be that you find yourself saying yes to the hungry kids in the cart more than is necessary.

In adding categories, this can also be a good thing. For example, with a more fully fleshed out budget, you can go through the exercise of building it from scratch again. However, this time, you can go beyond the 4 walls and a roof and add in more things according to their necessity in your life. Car repair budget more important than eating out? Good. Place that category and it's associated limit into the budget before the eating out category. Then, as you work your way through the priorities, you can add back in the things that you have room for. Or resolve to live without those things for a time until you can accomplish your other goals.

Both of these strategies can help you build a stronger budget that you feel in you are in control of instead of the other way around. Especially today, the day after Easter, I encourage and challenge you not to give up if you have hit budgeting snags.

Instead, rise up again and tackle the challenge anew with your greater knowledge and experience. You may find the more times this is done, the easier it gets!

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