Budgeting Basics for Math Haters
Maybe you don’t even hate math. Maybe you simply didn’t like your Algebra teacher, or you were too busy eating M & M's and texting in the back of your geometry classroom to actually hear the lectures.
Maybe adding and subtracting really do make you want to burst into tears, punch all the pillows in your room, and then resort to eating ice cream to drown your woes. That’s okay. I’ve been there.
For me, math never came easily. Finances became a monster that combined numbers, planning ahead, and hours of neverending boredom that seemed never to fully end, especially after I graduated from college. However, all that math-hating to say…you, yes YOU, can keep track of finances and budget your money. You can even do it well!
Here are my four recommendations:
1. Plan it into your week.
Whether your finances are in a complete jumble and you have been hiding from that heap of bills or you’re just looking to make things more organized, set up an hour to sort things a week ahead of time. That way, you’ll know it’s coming, you can’t make excuses to avoid it, and you’ll have a start and an end to the task. A beacon of hope, if you will.
2. Swallow that hidden pride.
Ask for some help. I’ve often found myself avoiding finances because I didn’t want to admit that numbers were hard for me. The only person this ended up hurting in the long run was me. Connect with someone—a classmate, your dad, or a friend who’s wildly good at spreadsheets and numbers, and meet that trusted person at a coffee shop to ask for some help.
3. Make it fun.
If someone were to stick an Excel budget sheet in front of me, ask me to stare at it all day, and say “This is what finances are,” then, yes, I would want to poke my eyeballs out. However, your financial planning doesn’t need to look like this.
Set goals for yourself or set up a contest with some friends to see who can spend under a certain amount each week- then reward yourself. Put a picture of that new car you want on the fridge or bathroom mirror. Make things colorful and bright. Write with cool pens. Use decorative tabs to mark papers. Invest in an awesome, graphically designed file folder that’s just fun to open. Whatever flips your nickel, go for it.
4. Take it slow.
Financial reform doesn’t have to happen overnight. Take one thing at a time. Start small, and as you do, make sure you have a steaming mug of coffee next to you and a donut (which is safe and makes everything okay).
All in all, cut yourself a little slack and have faith in what you’re capable of. You may have spent your whole life under the assumption that you CAN’T “do finances”. It starts with a psychological switch. Challenge your attitude toward money and budgets, and watch how things start turning around!
Written by Lauren Bernhagen
This blog post is from the Author's perspective and doesn't speak for brightpeak financial. Contact brightpeak if you want to know more about brightpeak products, and keep in mind that they are not available in all states and there are some limitations (some exclusions and restrictions may apply).