How to Start and Stick to Budgeting

This week on the Stress-Less Show, we are talking about Budgeting. I know, your head may still be spinning from all the numbers you spent pouring over on tax day, but now is a perfect time to start crafting a budget that you can stick to so that tax season is a little less stressful. Money Mindset Expert and Certified CPA, Mala Dukhi of Wise Women Smart Money, is back on the show to talk all about how and why to start budgeting.

Let’s be honest: Budgeting is not most people’s idea of a good time. It requires taking a look at your bank accounts and debts and unfortunately, that makes it really easy for most of us to just avoid altogether. Mala noted that “Most people that I've talked to avoid looking at their numbers and the more you avoid the more anxiety and stress you're going to have. So, please take a look at your numbers - even if you [just] spend 10 to 15 minutes every week.”

When we are not looking at our numbers, the fear of the unknown starts to kick in and we become so afraid of what our numbers might be that we don’t even want to know. By making a habit of looking at our numbers, we can start to take away that fear of the unknown and lessen our money stress. To start building the habit, Mala recommended trying to make the process of looking at your numbers as enjoyable as possible by putting some music on or having a nice cup of coffee. Anything you can do to get yourself in the right mindset to look at your numbers is key because not looking is way more stressful overall.

“I promise you the stress that you feel not looking at [the numbers] is far greater than the stress of actually looking at the numbers. That's a smaller stress… You have all this worry in your mind 24/7 about what's going on with your money, [but] if you were to spend 10 to 15 minutes a week doing that and not worry for the rest of the time you will be far less stressed.”

Once you start tracking your numbers regularly, the next step is to start comparing your spending and income numbers month to month and understand how you are spending your money. You can pay to use budgeting apps such as You Need A Budget to help streamline the process of tracking your numbers. The app will connect your bank accounts so you can look at what you have budgeted and what you are spending.

However even with apps, this is where self-discipline comes into play when it comes to creating a budget and continuing to stick to it. It isn’t always easy and if you feel that you are having trouble staying disciplined with your budget, that is when Mala recommends reaching out to a professional. “If you're not disciplined about your numbers, I'm just gonna say it. Get a financial coach. Honestly, you need accountability if you're not disciplined about your numbers.”

A financial coach is going to not only be able to hold you to the budget you set for yourself and help you look at your numbers, but they can also help get to the root of your money problems.

“The first thing I look at believe it or not is your mindset like what's going on with your mind about money because whatever is going on in your mind about money is going to show up in your bank account… Then we start switching the belief system [you have] around money. You may believe that ‘You know, I'm not worth earning a lot of money,’ or something that's preventing you from living to your full potential and we will start addressing those beliefs one by one. And then, you will see your numbers changing and your bank balance reflecting the new you.”

For those of you that are interested in addressing the root of your money problems and not just put a Band-Aid on it, Mala is offering a complimentary 30-minute phone session with her to help you begin to reframe your money beliefs and start creating a budget that you can really stick to.

You can email Mala at in order to set up your conversation. Spots are limited and are available on a first come first serve basis so make sure you grab one soon!

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