I have a confession to make. Okay well it isn’t the first time that I’ve admitted it, but it never hurts to have a reminder. I am kick butt at creating our budget (Six Dollar Family). I can squeeze every single penny out of everything when I want to. I am not quite so good at sticking to that budget. In fact, sticking to my budget is a daily struggle for us. We would be in big trouble as a family if we didn’t watch ourselves. Having your budget fail is something that most families deal with at least once or twice in their lives…most of us more than that. The key to getting back on track is figuring out why your budget failed. These 5 reasons why your budget fails are some of the most common ones. Take a look and see if any fit your family.
If your family is in a situation where your budget has failed, do not wait to put things back on track. The longer you wait, the worse things will get and yes, I speak from experience on that one. There are very few situations in life where things get better the longer you wait. Your family finances are not one of those few things. Make absolute certain that if you’re having budget issues that you stay on top of things. It is hard, but I promise if you do, things will get better.
Your budget fails because you’re not tracking your expenses –
Yes. It’s tedious. Yes. It can be a royal pain. With that said? Tracking your expenses and knowing where your money is going is one of the most important things you can do for your budget. Whether you use cash or debit, you need to write down every single expense. This is especially important if you’re using a debt card. One good idea is to use a checkbook register to help you track. They’re small enough to fit into your pocket or purse and it gives you the ability to write things down as you spend money. If you’re looking for something to use at home, I personally use this Account Register book. It stays at my desk and helps me to keep track of things that I purchase online. Once a week, I reconcile both the checkbook register and the account register book to a binder that contains both.
You’re not giving your budget enough time –
While it would totally rock to be able to spend 20 minutes a month setting up your budget and then totally forget about it until the next month, unfortunately that just isn’t how it works. Your budget requires your time just like anything else you’re trying to track. Set aside time each week (at a minimum) to sit down, go over your accounts and make sure that things are on track the way they should be. Not only does this keep you up to date on your budget, but it also lets you know early on when something goes wrong…so you can fix it.
Your budget fails because you’re not fully committed –
In life, you have to be committed to what you’re doing…no matter what it is. Your finances are no exception. If you really want your budget to stay on track and you really want your bank account to grow, you have to be fully committed to doing so. Not only do you need to be committed? Your spouse or partner if you have one needs to be as well. Money is one of the main causes for divorce or break ups so make sure you’re on the same page with each other.
Your budget fails because you aren’t funding it right –
When you sit down to do you budget, do you pull your actual bills out and input the amounts on them or do you just wing it? If you’re in the “I just wing it” crowd, how many times have you been wrong and had to pay out more money than you thought? I’d wager to guess that it has happened more than you care to admit. To prevent that from happening, make sure you’re putting the right amounts in your budget. In fact? I actually recommend that you over fund each budget category. Not only does over funding each category by a bit keep you from making any accidental malfunctions, but it will also help you build up a credit onto your accounts.
Your budget fails because you’re using the wrong type –
If you’ve done all of the above and your budget is still not working? You may be using the wrong type or even the wrong budget software. There are several types of budgets that you could use (simple, line item, percentage, etc) and multiple different budget software options to help you. If you’re looking for new software, here are some options for you:
While I’m positive these aren’t the only reasons that a budget fails, they’re the most common. If your budget has truly failed, your family needs to go into budget crisis mode and work on getting things fixed. I give you a few tips for doing just that in my book, Six Dollar Family. Your budget isn’t something to play with so be sure if things are wrong? They get righted very quickly.