After YEARS of fighting the process, I have discovered that there are ways to make the process somewhat less painful. Don't laugh...these are not the kind of suggestions you find in a book about "doing better in business" -- these are just things that help me through the process.
- Buy a brand new notebook of graph paper (it helps me line the numbers up and keeps all my "figuring" together in one place. Also, there is something about a NEW spiral notebook that gives me the same thrill as getting new school supplies at the beginning of the school year. I say, every little bit of thrill helps under these circumstances.
- I go to a coffee shop and find a table where I can spread out. The chances of being interrupted are slim and the hustle and bustle of the coffee shop becomes "white noise" to the point I just don't hear it anymore. And of course, the caffeine is key.
- I don't stop. It is too easy to be distracted by something more appealing. SO, I have a rule that if I start on a particular portion of a budget (say my projections for our print ad contracts), I don't stop until that portion is done.
- I have a HUGE eraser sitting right by my notebook. The calculator may not make mistakes, but I do and get a certain level of satisfaction of taking hold of that big old thing and just rubbing it out like it never existed. Budgeting definitely requires "do-overs."
- I reward myself at the end of each section of the budget that I complete. A phone call to a friend, a diet coke with lime (or the new dark cherry vanilla diet coke), a fresh mocha frappachino, some sheets of paper to add to my scrapbooking stash. Pain of this type should be rewarded -- otherwise you're stuck with doing it "just because you have to" and in my HBAO (humble but accurate opinion) there are TOO many things in life that fall into that category because there is no choice.
Well...thus endeth my diatribe against budgets. They are not the worst thing in the world -- I just don't like them. Kind of like I don't like grasshoppers jumping on me -- it doesn't kill me but I want to swat them until they are dead! Can you tell, that this morning my reward for finishing one section of my budget was to get to get on here and journal? Ok...reward over. Thanks for bearing with me.
Have a great day!