If you find yourself frustrated that your budget isn’t working – or you can’t seem to stick to the plan no matter how hard you try, you aren’t alone. Here are five problems that affect your budget success:
You always have a budget plan in mind, but you never start because everything has to be ‘perfect’ for it to work. Even when most of your financial systems are stable, there are one or two things you feel aren’t quite there yet. So you keep postponing until a later day.
What you can do about it: Understand that nothing is wrong with you for being a perfectionist (you can talk to a therapist if you think it could be affecting your life). You’re probably afraid that one thing could mess the whole thing up. Instead, start with one or two financial categories you know you can manage.
In time, you can add one plan after another. After all, better a slightly flawed budget than none at all.
You could complicate the entire budget idea – or you could genuinely find it a little problematic. You started off well but got lost somewhere after a few days or weeks. Other individuals say it’s too much work and give up before reaping the benefits.
What you can do about it: Budgeting isn’t as complicated as many people assume. Be patient and start off small. Have a notebook or an app to keep track of the realistic and straightforward changes and solutions you make to your finances. You’ll get the hang of it and move on to major expenses.
- Unplanned Finances
On most occasions, we only tend to factor in what is right in front of us. Daily expenses? Check. Weekly shopping? Check. Gas, Tuition Fees, and the occasional treats? Check. Unfortunately, you hadn’t planned for the random car repair, a trip to the doctor, having guests over or even contacting that family law office over irreconcilable marriage differences.
Here’s what you can do: Assuming you already have your weekly, monthly, and annual budget, include a ‘miscellaneous’ expenses plan. When you’re in the clear from any necessary expenses that week or month, even better, you’re still saving. Keep including it in your plan; you never know when you may need it.
You’re great at maintaining, sticking to, or adjusting your budget to fit your expenses. Unfortunately, all of it goes out the window when your family and friends are involved. You go out of your way to spoil your nieces and nephews, help your parents or siblings out with their expenses, and buy the gifts for your friends or spouse.
What you can do: Nothing’s wrong with being generous. However, these are expenses as well. Include them in your budget!
- Small Purchases
On a good day, you’re lucky to find impressive discounts in a store on your way home. Streaming movies and buying some apps are small expenses that you can handle. Making the purchases regularly, though, will add up to significant costs.
Here’s a solution: It’s easy buying when you use your credit card for such transactions. Track these small expenditures for a week or a month, and you’ll be surprised at the total. Next time, take a minute to consider whether you need the app before you buy it.