I am a firm believer in a good budget. Budgets can be extremely helpful and they can help you reach your financial goals and also fix your bad spending habits.
If you are not saving as much as you would like, or you are spending more than you earn each month, then you absolutely need a budget. However, what if you already have a budget and you still have budget problems?
If you have a budget and it still sucks, it may be due to one of the reasons below.
It’s not realistic.
What exactly does your budget look like? Are you remembering to include very important things like room in your budget or “fun” money? Both of these are what most families forget about.
You need room in your budget because life doesn’t always go as planned. If you give yourself a strict $100 gas budget but you know for a fact that you usually spend $120, you should just be realistic with yourself and make your budget the correct way instead of the way you wish it were.
Also, you need fun money in your budget. If you always spend money on fun stuff such as going to the movies or going out with friends, then you need to put this in your budget. Just because it makes you feel better doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be included!
You don’t keep track.
Do you keep track of how you do each month? You should be keeping track and figuring out how you are actually doing. This then leads into the next step…
You never adjust.
If you don’t keep track of your budget, then it would be very hard to adjust your budget to see what is working and what is not working. You should be adjusting your budget each month (or whatever time frame works best for you) and making your budget work for you instead of against you.
You forgot about saving.
Do you have a line item in your budget for saving money? This is something that many people forget. Instead of only saving money after whatever money is leftover each month, you should be paying yourself first and consider saving money more as a bill so that you are forced to do it each month.
Why does your budget suck?