Can Budgeting Be “Fun?”

Last night, I met with a couple in one of my classes and wanted to share their insight into what they were experiencing. They had come to my Budgeting (aka “Spending Plans”) class a couple of weeks earlier, and they shared last night that they were making solid progress.

They had not only gone home and talked about a household budget, but they had put one together and had been having regular discussions about it. I was excited for them because I know how a household budget can affect the family finances.

When I asked them how they were feeling about the past couple of weeks, the wife shared that they were having “fun” working on their budget. Now, you have to understand that during many of my budgeting classes, I explain how the critical step missing in virtually all failed budgets (written financial goals) makes budgets “meaningful,” but that even I – a budgeting professional – don’t think of budgets as “fun.”

So, when she said they were having fun, I had to ask for clarification. I was doubtful, I must admit. But, as she began explaining how they were enjoying the process of working together on a budget and feeling more in control of their finances each day, I could actually tell that she really was enjoying the whole process.

The feeling of lacking control when it comes to our household finances is very disconcerting for pretty much all of us. Regaining that control really can provide us with a sense of euphoria that will have us coming back to our household spending plan again and again. In that sense, then, budgets certainly can be and are “fun.”

How about you? What are the feelings you’ve had as you’ve taken back control of your finances? Please feel free to share.

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    Personally I am horrible with a budget. It’s one thing I could get considerably better at but one thing that did work for me that was simple is I knew how much my basic bills were (utilities, phone, car, rent, etc..) and I knew how much I was getting paid. I a bill that I could impact and tried to lower it. For example I lowered my electricity by $60 a month. After that I maintained the mindset that the $60 I was saving was money I never really had so I put the full 60 to my highest APR credit card. So far I have saved thousands on interest and I always challenge myself to do better and cut more costs. I wrote more about it in my blog.

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    After receiving a bankruptcy discharge papers the first thing you will want to do is get bankruptcy discharge updated and make sure that the information reported on it is correct. [Editor’s Note: this is part of taking back control of one’s budget, especially after the experience of going through bankruptcy]

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