Creating a budget is a big step on the path to a better financial life. However, maintaining your budget is even more important. Even if you start with good intentions, over time it is possible to get off track if you don’t know what you are doing.

To ensure your success, here are three traits that will help you stay the course:

1. Motivation. Are you motivated to do the right thing in regards to your money? Do you realize that things will happen, good and bad, over time that will impact your situation?

No matter what happens, you must stay motivated. If you continue to push yourself, one day after the next, you will eventually reach your financial goals. When this happens, the excitement you feel will be enough to keep you motivated well into the future.

2. A positive approach. If you go into the budgeting process with a bad attitude you are never going to reach your goals. Instead, it is likely that you will find yourself giving up sooner rather than later.

You may face challenges here and there. You may realize that you have to put additional time into your budget. As bad as things may get, keep a positive attitude. This will help to push you along, allowing you to maintain your budget.

3. Be realistic. For many people, unrealistic expectations derail them before they ever have the chance to succeed. There is nothing wrong with expecting big things from your budget, but you have to remain realistic when setting goals. If you don’t, you will only become discouraged.

Tip: make a list of multiple short term goals, all of which are attainable. This will help you realize what a realistic goal looks like, allowing you to better plan for the future.

When you have these traits, it becomes much easier to maintain a successful budget. Soon enough, you will look back and wonder why you faced so much trouble in the past.

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