If you are in to budgeting, you must have realized by now that creating budget is the easiest thing to do. The most difficult and tough task is to stick to it. Earlier I spoke about How to Stick to Your Budget Consistently. This is another article which will try to convey the same message, a little tweaking in your habit and thoughts can make wonders.
Have you ever set a personal budget for yourself? Are you still sticking to it? My guess is that you answered these questions in a sequence of “yes” to the first, and “no” to the second. We all have great intentions of spending our money wisely in accordance with our plan, but it hardly ever happens that way.
At the end of the month (if we make it that long), we realize that we aren’t able to follow our budget at all and we just decide to throw in the towel.
Budgeting doesn’t have to be like this though, and it doesn’t have to be a chore either. It can be both fun and can be fairly simple at the same time. In order to get you through this process and follow your budget a little better this time, let’s take a look at why personal budgets often fail.
1) You Cut Out The Fun – Often times, when people make a budget for themselves, they just put all of their known bills in there and set up an amount for the “food” category, but when it comes to having fun, this is left out of the budget entirely!
Sure, you might be tight on money, but you should still do your best to budget in some fun. Without any release from the daily grind, you’re going to make yourself nuts, and you’re ultimately setting yourself up for failure.
2) You Forgot About the “Unexpected” and Non-recurring” Expenses – There are plenty of bills that hit your account each month. These are the ones that are easy to predict, but then there are bills that only happen once every few months, or every year.
Things like car insurance, registration, oil changes – these don’t pop up each month, but you should still put them into your monthly budget because you should be saving up for these expenses.
Then, there are items like your roof. It most likely doesn’t need repair for another 3 or 4 years, but when that $5,000 expense comes your way, you’re going to wish that you’d been saving up for it all along.
3) You Have High Expectations – It takes a while to create that budget, and when you’re done you think that there couldn’t possibly be an expense that you missed and your numbers on each category are perfect. Then that first month comes and goes and you overspent your budget by $400!
You didn’t spend on anything lavishly, so how could this have happened? Well, you most likely forgot a bill, or maybe you severely underestimated that grocery bill. The point is, you will not be able to create a perfect budget the first time. For the first six months, it will just be a work in progress, and that’s ok!
4) Probably you’re using wrong tools – Are you really comfortable with the tools you are using to manage your budget? Is your budget easily accessible? When you need it, how much effort you put to understand the current pattern and deviation?
A tool is only as good as you are aware of how to use it. If you are using a professional budgeting software, are you enough conversant with it? On the contrary, if you are used to traditional pen and paper technique, are you keeping track of all earning and all spending, is the job tedious? Have you got bored sometimes?
Not using a tool properly or not knowing about the tool are one of the biggest reasons of budget failure.
If you can get over these hurdles, you’ll be much closer to making that budget that works for you and that you’ll be able to stick with. And, once you’ve got your master budget, life just gets that much easier. Best of luck to you!
Remember, when lawmakers and economists make a mess of their budget, countries become bankrupt. US is under serious debt because of not meeting to the budget. When an individual fails meeting budget, the implication is felt much faster.
Don’t let yourself in to debt by failing in your budget goals. Take action today!
Readers, what other reasons you think personal budgets fail at times?