I often liken budgets and saving to dieting. If someone tells you that all you can eat is salad for the rest of your life, you are unlikely to stick to that permanently. And like healthy eating is a lifelong journey made up of daily decisions, so is healthy finances.
One of the most successful dieting strategies that is used by Body for Life, Patrick Holford and many others is that one day a week is an ‘off day’. Eat healthy for six days, have one day off. This gives you the discipline during the 6 days to know that on day 7 you can eat whatever you want.
I once watched a client have an ah-ha moment when he realised that it wasn’t his wife who was blowing the budget, but him. And the reason why is that they never budgetted for the ‘something extra’. “Fudge it”, he said, “I work so hard, I want to buy an iPad”.
The solution to cheating on your budget…
For all my clients I recommend an OLLI fund – One Life, Live It. Each of you in the relationship get a certain amount of money each month that you can spend on whatever you want – no questions asked by the other. Lunch with the girls? Save for a Handbag? A new iPad? Whatever you or your partner chooses to spend the money on is entirely your decision.
If you want to stick to a budget, make sure there’s an amount each month that each of you can blow, no questions asked!