5 potential reasons why your budget is failing

Category: Personal Finances

Piggy Bank on Money

 

Creating a monthly budget and committing to it can be a good way to manage your money and while working towards your savings goal. Making a budget in the first place can be somewhat easy, but the challenge can be sticking to it completely. If you find that you’re having some trouble keeping up with your current budget, it might need some adjustments or even a complete overhaul. Before making changes to your budget, however, it can be helpful to identify the reasons why it might currently be failing, so you know what to change. Some of the following are possible reasons why your current budget might not be working out:

It’s too confusing

A budget doesn’t have to be complicated. If it’s not straightforward and easy to follow, it can be easy to slack or give up on it completely. If you’re overwhelmed by your budget just by looking at it, it may be time to redo it completely.

You aren’t working towards a goal

A budget is meant to ensure you aren’t spending too much and that you’re saving as much as you can. You may not need a specific savings goal in mind, but for some people, it can be hard to stay motivated without one. Think about a specific goal you’d really like to save up for, such as going on a trip, paying for a car in cash, or a making down payment on a home. Whenever you feel like going beyond your budget, think about that goal, and you might reconsider.

It’s too restrictive

Depriving yourself completely and not allowing any wiggle room in your budget can make you want to give up on it altogether. If you’re going from one extreme to another and going from carelessly spending to a very strict budget, there’s a chance you’ll just get frustrated and go back to spending without a budget set in place. Instead, make a budget that’s more realistic and completely limiting.

You’re not budgeting enough

It can be difficult to anticipate certain expenses and budget a realistic amount for some of your bills. While some monthly expenses will always be fixed—such as your rent—others might just be a guess. If you only budgeted a certain amount of money for gas, for example, you’ll want to make sure your budget is setting aside enough money each month to cover those expenses. This can easily happen if you’re not accurately recording all of your purchases and transactions, so be sure to take note of every little thing you spend money on when you’re determining a reasonable dollar amount each month for your expenses.

You haven’t made any sacrifices

Once you’ve made a reasonable budget and you know you’re setting aside plenty for all of your necessities (housing, utilities, food, and so on), you should be able to know just how much you can afford to save each month. If this amount is next to nothing or you don’t have enough to cover your necessities, take another look at your budget to see what you can cut down on or eliminate completely. For example, do your monthly bills include an expensive cable bill? You may not want to cut down on or eliminate your cable, but without that sacrifice, it can be difficult to stick to your budget.

 

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Nothing above is meant to provide financial or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.

 

Tags: budgets, financial goals, monthly expenses, savings

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