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8 Reasons It's So Hard to Stick to a Budget

8 Reasons It's So Hard to Stick to a Budget

While many people recognize the importance of creating a budget, many have a hard time sticking to the budgets they’ve created for themselves. Here are a few reasons we can’t seem to stick to a budget. How many of them are true for you?

You’re using it to restrict rather than control your spending. If you’re among those who believe that a budget is intended to keep you from spending, budgeting is understandably hard for you. Fortunately, that’s not what a budget is for. The point of a budget is to have a realistic plan for your income. You may choose to cutback in some areas, but only if that’s what you need to do to accomplish your goals.

You secretly don’t want to. You may know that a budget is good for your finances, but haven’t quite internalized just how valuable it is for you. You’d prefer not to apply the discipline it takes to make a monthly financial plan and stick to it, so instead, you wing it. Until you decide that your carefree approach to finances is counterproductive, you won’t be able to stick to a budget.

You’re not making time for it. In our busy lives, budgeting can take a backseat to tasks that seem more important. But if you’re spending more money than you bring in or you’re not sure where your money is going, you have to carve out some time – at least an hour each week – to spend time creating a budget. The sacrifice will make a great improvement to your finances.

You forget that you made a budget. Making the budget is only part of the process. You need to refer back to it throughout the month to make sure you’re spending what you planned. Until you get in the habit of sticking to a budget, put your budget in a place that you can’t miss it, like on your desk or bulletin board.

You’re making exceptions for spending. Living according to a budget doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life. It just means you plan for leisure spending so that it doesn’t keep you from paying important bills later on in the month. Compensate for extracurricular spending in your budget so you can have fun without added financial stress.

You’re not putting your budget in writing. Mental budgets are just too hard to stick to. Having a written budget keeps you from having to tax your brain to remember what you planned to spend. You don’t have to get complicated with your budget – unless you want to. Just jot down all your planned spending and make sure it’s less than your monthly income.

You’re using your credit cards for things that aren’t on your budget, which allows you to spend beyond what you originally planned. While it may not impact your finances immediately, credit card balances catch up to you eventually. Treat your credit cards like the money in your checking account, using them only for items you’ve budgeted for. Pay your credit card balances in full to prevent issues with credit card debt down the road.

You’re not excited about budgeting. Budgeting doesn’t have to get the same level of excitement as going on a beach vacation, but if you’re dreading the process of making and sticking to a budget, you’re not likely to stick to it. Keep in mind benefits the benefits of budgeting – like relieving financial stress or helping you pay off debt – to get yourself motivated.

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Comments 1

Frank on Wednesday, 02 September 2015 15:06

Helpful ways to stick to a budget:

1. Check and update your budget everyday. There are so many online application today you can use, and you can check almost all of them on your phone.
2. Use a prepaid card: Put your budget amount on a prepaid card, and you won’t be able to spend more than your budget!
3. Make it fun – get creative and try to make a game out of it!

Helpful ways to stick to a budget: 1. Check and update your budget everyday. There are so many online application today you can use, and you can check almost all of them on your phone. 2. Use a prepaid card: Put your budget amount on a prepaid card, and you won’t be able to spend more than your budget! 3. Make it fun – get creative and try to make a game out of it!
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Thursday, 22 August 2019

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