Last year I started trying to stop smoking. I did most things – stopped buying tobacco, avoided places where people smoke, stopped drinking as much, etc. But I couldn’t fully stop until I had a clear list of pros and cons of smoking vs pros and cons of non smoking next to each other. It was clear to me like day that I must stop smoking no matter what – I just saw there were more benefits in not smoking and it made sense. Why am I talking about smoking here at all, you will ask? It is because like any other habit, budgeting also is only done when you see that sticking to it is 100% more worth it than not.
Pros And Cons
And to start I think about that extra incentives, you need to know what you already got. So get out your list of advantages and disadvantages, or make one. Outline what budgeting money would mean to you – what will it give, and what will it take. It might look something like this:
Being practical and having a healthy budget plan is a very left-brain activity, meaning that for more creative people it can be challenging to activate their left brain. However, when we write out pros and cons our left brain can see straight away what its next logical action should be. And if you got more disadvantages than pros, then your left brain is not going to engage in this budgeting activity because it doesn’t see it worth your time.
But what is that one extra benefit that might make you stick to the plan? I suggest that you try budgeting on your own and observe what works for you and what doesn’t. The things that work – add them to the list of advantages. For example, I like seeing my budget work, so it is also a feeling of satisfaction that I will get by budgeting as another advantage. Add the things that don’t work to the list of disadvantages. For example, I can’t do budgeting on my phone – so I’ll put technical issues on my list.
Extra Pros… And Cons
Over time you should start seeing that advantages increase. Although while the cons will also increase, remember that you’re doing this in order to make budgeting work for you. So I would suggest to not list all of the disadvantages together – some may be effects of the other. Either way – seeing an abundance of advantages that budgeting brings into your life will only motivate you to continue doing it – it just makes sense to be doing something that benefits you.
When I did that with my smoking habit – I started with just 12 pros and 12 cons for smoking and not smoking (6 each). But right now, I am on 10 pros and 12 cons for smoking, and 10 pros and 7 cons for not smoking. Which one would you choose? That’s right, the one with fewer cons!
If you came here and were looking for that one extra magical little detail that you have missed – I’m sorry. But I believe that budgeting is different for everybody and so I’m not in place to be mind-reading and suggesting you some groundbreaking ideas. However, what I am doing here is that I am showing you that if you will keep trying to implement budgeting into your life – it will become part of your life as one of the most valuable habits.
How would it make you feel if you would finally be sticking to your budget?
Thank you for reading this post, I’ll be back to you with more money wisdom’s for artists tomorrow!
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