Despite all your good intentions, you can’t seem to get your monthly budget to add up. There are many common problems that could be the reason for this, many of which can easily be resolved. Here are the 3 most common reasons why your budget may not be working for you:
1. Budget problem: It’s too restrictive
If you are desperate to save money, you may have created a budget that only includes the bare minimum, not giving yourself enough for entertainment. Being too restrictive with your budget is unrealistic and sets you up for overspending, often resulting in you giving up on your budget entirely.
How to fix it
Add some ‘padding’ to your budget so that it’s realistic. Instead of cutting out certain things all together, rather cut back. A strict budget may look good on paper, leaving you with plenty of extra money at the end of the month, but if it isn’t realistic then you are setting yourself up for failure from the get-go.
2. Budget problem: It’s too complicated
Tracking your expenses, updating the spreadsheet and trying to balance what’s in your account with what you’ve spent may just seem like too much work at the end of the day. Either that or the budgeting template you have chosen is just too complicated.
How to fix it:
If you are not naturally a numbers person, you may want to consider switching to the envelope budgeting system, where you draw cash at the beginning of the month for various expenses and place it in labelled envelopes, along with cash slips for any purchases you make. A cash-only budgeting system will save time and help you track your spending with ease.
3. Budget problem: Not having an emergency backup
Life comes with many unplanned emergencies: your pet needs a trip to the vet suddenly, or your child breaks an arm. These expenses can completely throw your budget off course and leave you struggling to pay the bills.
How to fix it:
Build up an emergency fund with the aim of having at least 3 to 6 months’ salary saved. You can start to create one straightaway: set up a debit order for an amount of your monthly income to go straight to savings as you get paid. It will provide peace of mind and a personal ‘insurance’ against life’s unavoidable emergencies.
The information contained in this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.
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