Having a budget in your life is a great way to ensure you’re making the most out of the income you worked so hard to earn. There are many people who live by budgeting and can attest that they work.
Nevertheless, there will always be reasons why a budget may fall apart. Everyone is different, thereby making all the reasons different. However, the following reasons have made many budgets fall apart and left the owner wondering, “Why don’t budgets work?”
Your budget is too complicated.
When budgeting, you want to make sure every dollar gets an assignment. That means every dollar you earn should have a place you’ve designed it to go.
That being said, you don’t need to go into too much detail. For example, when I write my budget I label a portion for “food”. I don’t label a portion for the bread, rice, and spaghetti. That would overcomplicate it and eat too much of my time.
Instead, by writing “food” I know how much I’m going to spend per week on food and that’s it.
Make your budget as simple as possible. Having more bills to pay will automatically increase your list, but I think you get the point.
I’ve been guilty of this one many times. I love to save and we’re still working on setting up a fully-funded emergency fund. I have such big goals and dreams and earnestly desire to reach them.
Therefore, there have been many times when I cut and slim down areas in order to save more. However, you can’t do that! You have to make sure you’re putting enough money in each category so that you don’t end up pulling money out of your savings to cover an expense.
That’s why you have to be realistic. If you desperately need underwear, don’t sell yourself short. Take enough money to get what you need.
Things get left out.
How many times have you’ve forgotten something important? If you forget something during your budget planning, it really sucks! You may have to sit back down and rewrite a budget with the remainder of your money or you may have to take money out of your emergency fund.
Both of those situations aren’t ideal, but you have to do what you have to do.
However, I’ve found a pretty good way to remember all your bills.
I have a notebook with the words “budget” on the front. I’ve had it for years and I only use it for my budgets. At the very top, I write all my bills, their due dates, and their amount. Then, I look to see when we’ll get some paychecks and how much we can expect.
Between my husband and I, we get quite a few per month. We look at their dates and then allocate which bills will be paid for those incomes.
Every month, we copy the list from the previous month at the top of the paper. We haven’t missed a bill since.
If you begin writing budgets and you find that you seem to have too many bills, don’t be afraid to try something new. My husband and I haven’t had cable in our own home since we’ve been living together. During that time, we’ve also never opened a credit card or drove a car that we didn’t pay cash for.
In other words, our only bills are rent, utilities, insurance, and food. You know, the basics.
You don’t have an emergency fund.
Not having an emergency fund is an easy way to ruin your current budget and your chances of any future budgets. Let me tell you why.
Life happens. Things that we don’t anticipate come into our lives and it takes money to fix. If you don’t have an emergency fund for emergencies, then you will have to abolish your budget to fix the current issue.
And trust me, I get it. I hate these kinds of things. But the truth is, we cannot avoid them. We must be prepared for them.
One of the reasons why I said it will destroy any future budgets is in the event you decide to go into debt over an emergency. A new debt means another bill you have to pay each month. I know people who have so much debt that they’re paralyzed by it.
They refuse to take inventory of their finances because they don’t want to face the pileup of issues they’ve created. It’s unfortunate, but I don’t want that for you.
Paying yourself is more enjoyable than paying someone else for borrowing their money to pay something you didn’t plan for. Be smart.
You tend to skip out on the budgeting part.
Here’s a newsflash: You won’t be successful in budgeting if you don’t write one out. Not only that, but the best way to see results from a budget is to write one out consistently every month. (Even if you don’t always get it right.)
Don’t write a budget out one time and then blame the budget for all your financial issues that you’ve already had. Just like with anything else, getting better at budgeting takes time. Don’t give up on it and don’t skip out on it.
You don’t follow through.
I can honestly say the hardest part about budgeting is actually doing it. That’s why I do things quickly. Once you’ve taken the time and decided what you plan to do with your money when it arrives, waste no time and get it done.
For example, I always tithe and always will. When I write out my budgets, I always write the tithe amount first. Likewise, as soon as my paycheck drops into my account, I instantly donate my 10%. I don’t think about it or try to reason about it. I do it quickly. You know, like ripping off a bandage.
The more we think about things, the harder it becomes to follow through. Some of the best successes in my life came from massive action, not necessarily massive thought.
Write your budget and then quickly follow through. If you know you have to pay $30 to a credit card company, and $80 to a phone company, then do it immediately. Take out your card, head to the website and pay it! Then, simply cross it off your budget and feel satisfied!
In my personal experience, budgeting has changed my life. I love to do it and I love the results. I know I will always write budgets for my income for the rest of my life. It gives me a sense of control.
What about you? Have you introduced a budget to your financial world? If so, how has it affected your life? Did I miss any key reasons why budgets don’t work all the time? Please, share your thoughts below in the comment section and please share with everyone who you think needs to hear this information.
Until next time,