There’s a reason why so many people don’t bother to put a household spending plan in place, or when they do, they struggle to follow it: because people generally don’t like to be told how to spend their money, regardless of how they might benefit from a structured approach to managing their household finances.
A poll conducted several years ago by Gallup found that only about one-third of Americans actually prepare a detailed budget, or spending plan, that tracks their income and expenses. However, for the minority of people who find a way to implement and maintain such a plan, there are both tangible and intangible rewards for doing so, from harnessing the financial power to fulfill your goals and getting clarity about where your money is going, to getting out from under debt and gaining the peace of mind that comes with getting a better handle on your finances.
“Having some type of spending plan helps avoid or relieve a lot of financial stress,” explains Amy Jo Lauber, a Certified Financial Planner™ who heads Lauber Financial Planning in West Seneca, NY.
How, then, to build a plan with staying power? Here are 12 suggestions for implementing a spending plan you can actually stick to: