If you want your budget to succeed over the long term there are eight things that might have an affect on your effectiveness to hold fast your budget. Identifying and conquering these things is essential to stay on the right track and achieving your budgeting objectives.
1. Neglecting to set an objective - A budget with no a goal will quickly fizzle out. You cannot truthfully expect to stick a budget for any period of time if you have not set a goal for it. Budgets are just like weight loss programs, they are simple to get started on but tricky to follow through to the end. You have to have constant inspiration – the objective you determine for your budget is your main source of encouragement.
2. Inability to make room for stimulation - Let’s be truthful, daily life on a budget is not very exciting. Take away the pleasure and you’ll dislike it a whole lot more. Main point here, save room in the budget for all the things you love and sit up for. You are much more apt to stick to your budget over the long haul if you can still enjoy yourself. Though it inevitably brings about living on a budget for a longer period than you had initially planned for, leave room for all the things you love inside your budget.
3. Over budgeting - Over budgeting is where you scale back too much from your budget, more or less depriving yourself of necessities in an effort to achieve your ultimate goal faster. This results in something I call “budget burnout”, when that happens the budget goes right out the window. Bottom line, it’s fine to scale back some but not so much that you’re literally depriving yourself of what you require.
4. Sizeable sudden expense - Of course you aren’t able to foresee when emergencies or unplanned obligations will come about; what you can do however is prepare yourself in case that one actually does happen. This is why it pays to get an emergency fund in place. An emergency fund should cover the unanticipated extra expense, your budget should be untouched and also you will not have to add additional debt unnecessarily.
5. Outgrowing the budget - You have obtained your goal and have finished everything you set out to accomplish with your budget. Congratulations! Budgeting has gotten you this far, so why not carry on? It’s time for you to expand your horizons, think of a bigger, broader goal for yourself.
6. Unattainable goals/expectations - It’s hopeless to keep to a budget that you set unreachable objectives or expectations for. You are usually just setting yourself up for frustration. You have to make a purpose for your budget that’s measurable and most of all, plausible.
7. Neglecting to keep tabs on expenditures - Not monitoring your spending is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot. Tracking your expenses could appear challenging but it’s not really. Understanding exactly where the money is going keeps you in control and makes it far easier to continue inside the limitations of your budget.
8. Giving in to impulse - This is often sort of a hard one to get under control, you just never know when you are going to be enticed. If you sense the need to shop or expend money impulsively try to use the need vs want rule (ask yourself “do I need it or do I just want it?”). If that fails you could also use the 2 day rule in which you wait a couple of days, if you sill feel that you NEED it following two days – go on and buy it.
Remy Roy is a self-described finance geek and tightwad, he is also the author of Money-Saving-Ideas.net. A site where you can find personal finance tips to help you save money, get out of debt and build toward a comfortable retirement while avoiding some all-too-common pitfalls along the way.