I'm going to go out on a limb here and make a broad generalization:
I bet that at some point in your life, you attempted to track your spending and/or stick to a budget.
I feel like it's just human nature! When our financial lives start to feel out of control, we make big plans to set ourselves on a budget or start tracking our money. Unfortunately, much of the time we end up giving up on those good financial habits before they become habit... but still. At some point, we attempt it.
So I want you to think back to the time(s) in your life (maybe even right now!!) when you were on a budget or tracking your money. How did it make you feel?
I'm here to tell you that I L-O-V-E the feeling of tracking my money. (yes, confession time: I don't put myself on a budget very often... just when I reeeeally need to cut spending!)
Here's why I love tracking my money (and occasionally sticking to budgets):
1. For that awesome feeling of 'working' for a purchase.
I love the feeling of deciding what fun purchases I want to make this month (new shoes, candles, clothes, makeup, etc) and preparing my finances for it. Whether it's budgeting that money or just keeping my other expenses lower so that I can afford my 'fun' purchases... whatever I have to do, working for it makes that purchase SO much more rewarding!
2. It's like training for a race.
I know a lot of you are runners so I'm going to use a running analogy. When I train for races, (you know, 2 years ago when I actually ran more than once a month) I'm totally that type A planner who prints out the training plan in calendar form so that I can see what workout I have to do every day, then cross those days off as I complete the workouts.
That's kinda like tracking your money or budgeting. Every day as you log your purchases and monitor how much you've spent that month, it's like you're crossing off a 'workout'. At the end of the month when you review how much you've spent and how much you've saved, it's like you're looking at your 'training plan' and seeing how far you've come.
I love that feeling of slowly chipping away at my goals and monitoring my progress. It's so rewarding!
3. It keeps you grounded.
As 20-something women, social media is alive and well in our daily lives. Every single day we're bombarded with pictures and status updates and links to the awesome stuff that our peers are buying. It normalizes high spending and makes us feel that we should be doing that, too.
But when you're on a budget or tracking your money, you're reminded every.single.day of your financial goals. You're well aware of how much money you bring in each month, how much you spend, and how much you can save. Seeing a $500 purse might be tempting until you remember that it would completely blow all your numbers for this month and is definitely not worth it.
4. Your 'spending guilt' disappears.
When you're tracking your money or budgeting, you know how much money you have to spend on 'fun' things throughout the month. So when an awesome deal on candles comes along, you know that you can take advantage of it without going broke. Be serious... when's the last time you spent money with ZERO guilt? It's a great feeling, let me tell ya ;)