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234 How to close the gap between budget and reality

December 14, 20225 min read


Are unexpected expenses derailing you, making you struggle to stick to your own budget? Let me reassure you that you’re not alone!

We all want our expenses to fit within the money we earn, and it can be both a frustrating, and a seemingly impossible cycle to end.

In this episode I’m going to tell you how to break this cycle in the year ahead, and give you the key tool I use for myself, and my family, and the one I teach all of my clients.

Download my free budget and expense tracker here.

Show notes:

  • [02.16] Unexpected expenses

  • [05.04] Your subconscious mind

  • [06.43] Mindful tracking

  • [09.00] A protection barrier

  • [16.30] Getting the system going


“It is extremely hard to always be fighting a battle you feel like you can’t win.” – Lisa Linfield

“Every time you swipe your card, think to yourself – what am I telling myself about this spend?” – Lisa Linfield

“Make sure that next year is the year you nail this whole system.” – Lisa Linfield

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THE biggest piece of feedback I get from people is that they can't seem to stick to a budget.

Now I'm not just talking about the holiday season, I'm talking about everyday life.

Unexpected expenses seem to derail us, and food, rent or mortgage repayments, petrol or gas for our car and medical and kids expenses ALWAYS seem to blow the budget.

IF this sounds like you, then firstly, you're not alone. We all want desperately to make sure our expenses fit within the money we earn. And yet, it seems it never does... which makes us feel frustrated, guilty and even a little like it's actually impossible to EVER break the cycle. And that's wrong... none of us should have to feel like this.

So in this episode I'm going to tell you how to break that cycle in the year ahead and give you the key tool I use myself for our family and teach my clients to use.

Do you ever feel like there's just to much month for your money?

That you're driving slowly down the road of expenses, minding your own business, and out of nowhere, a truck comes and takes you out? It could be your child needs money for a school trip, your partner needs an operation, or the car breaks down and needs a service.

Or maybe it's not something big that derails you. Maybe it's just life, and the cost of living, medical expenses, petrol or gas for your car just keep rising faster than your income.

Sometimes, it's not even that. Sometimes, you're able to keep up with those big things and little everyday things, but you find that you get to a holiday and there's no extra money to absorb the extra costs.

Many times when I chat to people about their money, the stress it causes them to continuously feel like they're on the back foot, that they're always blowing their budget, that they never seem to get on top of it makes my heart break.

It is extremely hard to always be fighting a battle you feel you can't win.

And here's the challenge... when I look through their budgets, it seems that they have everything taken care of. They have an amount every month for medical expenses the health insurance doesn't take care of, they have an amount for car and house maintenance and they have an amount for holidays...

But it doesn't matter who they are, when I ask them to show me where that holiday money is physically stashed - if it's october and the holiday is in December.. they should have 10 months of saving.... it's never there. Nor is the little pot of money for vacations.

So then I ask them how will they pay for the vacation in December... and they think, and it suddenly dawns on them... they will need to use their credit card, and then have to pay off the holiday with the extra interest over the next few months.

So instead of having 12 months to save for the holiday, they have to pay it back in 3 or 4 months with interest... something they hadn't budgeted for

So how do you break the cycle?

For those of you that have been listening for a while

Step 1 - STARTS with your thinking…

If your subconscious brain believes that you will NEVER sort this money gap out… trust me you won't

The biggest question you need to answer honestly… not good reasons... REAL reasons... is what's derailing you?

Health is like wealth… and I've set myself a task this three week holiday in austria to journal every day on what exactly my thinking is on if I will truly be free of the stress of health.

Step 2 - Mindfully tracking and understanding your expenses

OVER A SEASON and being realistic about BOTH your income in a year and your expenses in the year

Step 3 - Build a wall of protection against stuff that's derailing you

  1. Insurances against the big stuff (Episode 209)

  2. Emergency Fund against things that happen TO you (Episode 191)

  3. Expense smoother

  4. Replacement Savings

Step 4 - confusing wants and needs

Download my free budget and expense tracker here.

Lisa LinfieldChristian MoneyPodcastdebtemergency fundbudgetexpense smoother
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Lisa Linfield

Lisa Linfield is on a God-given mission to free 1 million women from the weight and stress of money. She's a CFP, founder of a wealth management business, and podcast host of Working Women's Wealth

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