Maybe you’ve been here before. You’re sick and tired of not being broke so, in disgust, you vow to put yourself on a budget and stick to it. Then you sit down and scribble out a budget that you think will fix YOU and then you… put it away somewhere and never look at it again. Or, you try to stick to it, but after a few days you get frustrated trying to keep track of everything, so you give up. Or, maybe you’re this person. You see that shiny thing that you just GOTTA have! It’s on sale. It NEVER goes on sale. Screw it, the budget can kick rocks. It’s time to shop!
Sound at all familiar? If it does, you’re not alone. Millions of your fellow Americans suffer the same challenge. It’s a vicious cycle and this is how it generally goes:
- Frustration (I just got paid, where did all my money go?)
- Anger (Enough of this crap, I need to do something to fix this!)
- Resolve (I’m getting on a budget and this time I’m sticking to it!)
- Joy (Yay! It’s a new day!)
- Frustration (This is harder than I thought)
- Justification (Oh well. Most of the people I know are broke too, so I don’t feel so bad)
- Surrender (This is never going to work, I give up)
- Despair (I need to fix this but I just don’t see how I ever will)
Until the next time, when a major pain trigger hits you, then it starts all over again. Or maybe not, because you’ve failed so many times in the past that you’ve just stopped trying. Is any of that striking a chord with you? Again, you’re not alone. Here’s the thing: There are reasons why budgets don’t work for most people BUT there are also tools and systems you can use to address those reasons so that they don’t remain in the way of you achieving financial stability. And the good news is, I’m about to break down the reasons for failing and the solutions.
It will help to understand the situation if we use an example. Let’s take dieting. According to the Boston Medical Center, 45 million Americans go on a diet each year and spend $33 BILLION on weight loss products. Yet obesity levels continue to rise! It’s not for lack of information. There are literally THOUSANDS of diet options out there and an infinite number of books, videos, websites and companies ready to help. So why do so many people fail?
Here’s the first reason: They lost their WHY along the way. What do I mean by “why?” The thing that motivates us, that keeps us going when the pain gets to be unbearable is your why. The marathoner whose legs are about to give out and lungs are about to burst keeps pressing forward. Why? Maybe it’s to prove something. Maybe it’s to conquer something. Maybe it’s to win some prize. Whatever it is, the why is strong enough to keep them moving. It’s when the runner asks “Why am I even doing this?” that they give up when the going gets tough.
Until you identify your particular WHY, you will never be motivated enough to stick to the path when the going gets tough. When it comes to budgeting you need to identify your why. Not just “I want a new car,” but the deeper why. Is it to change the trajectory of your life? Provide a better environment for your kids? Feel better about yourself? Leave a legacy behind? Get rid of the soul-sucking pain that comes from being in debt? Whatever the reason, you need to identify it and burn it into your mind like a red-hot branding iron on the skin. When it’s that strong, you won’t lose it and it will drive you forward through the toughest of times. The last time you tried to budget, did you sit down and really identify your burning why?
The second reason people fail is they don’t make themselves accountable. Here’s what I mean. If you make a decision within yourself to do something and keep it to yourself, when you don’t follow through on it who knows? Only you. So there’s no big loss of face. Big deal, right? It’s not like you’re going to grab yourself and hold you up to public embarrassment. It’s not like you’re going to fine yourself. On the other hand, accountability means being held answerable for accomplishing something. It’s been demonstrated that people who use accountability partners are more likely to accomplish a given goal than someone who doesn’t.
I ask again. The last time you resolved to go on a budget, did you call a friend and involve them in the process, letting them know what your goals were and asking them to hold you accountable for not reaching them and then attaching a cost to it if you didn’t? Next time, try being held accountable and attach a cost to it. It will change your mindset and your determination to succeed.
The third reason people fail to carry through successfully with a budget is it’s too restrictive. The word itself hints at scarcity. You think, “I don’t have enough to go around.” So you start cutting this out and cutting that out until you’re on the budgetary equivalent of grapefruit and water. Budgets shouldn’t be about what you can’t do. Budgets should focus on what you can do and have.
In working with clients over the years, whenever I ask them to work out a budget there is often something key missing in it. Them. For some reason they feel there is no room to care for them in that budget. They remove entertainment. They remove manicures, facials and the salon. They remove planning for vacations or other things that bring them joy. These are the “cakes, bread and pizza” that keep you going so that you don’t have a constant cloud of deprivation hanging over you.
So when you budget, include entertainment. Include clothing. Include all the things that you do to bring yourself joy, in moderation of course, because going without those things will suck all the motivation out of you to stick to this thing that is now robbing you of all your happiness.
In the Max Money Mind, we show you how to overcome those 3 obstacles so that you can not only budget, but thrive in the process. We show you how to identify your burning WHY. We help you set up your own accountability system, one that works, so you can stay on track through the tough times. And we show you how to set up a budget that delivers abundance and not poverty. We give you so many tools to help you succeed that you have no other choice but to do it.
Yes, we give you the tools to keep you from going to steps 5-8 in the cycle of failure. We show you how to be able to buy more, not less. How to save more, not less. How to live a life of abundance, not scarcity. And we show you how to put protections in place for those days when things don’t go exactly according to plan. If you’re ready to start living The Max Money Mind life, sign up for our free tips to be delivered directly to your inbox so you can learn how to gain The Max Money Mind and have the kind of financial success that others will be envying for the rest of your life. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead. Max Out and prosper!