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5 Challenges of Budgeting

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The challenges of budgeting hold many people back from becoming financially successful. The truth is, you must have a budget of some sort in place so that you can properly manage your finances.

But how do you overcome the challenges of budgeting? One way is to look at the problems head-on and better understand the challenges and what can be done to overcome them.

Let’s take a closer look.

What are the disadvantages of budgeting?

As with anything in life, there are disadvantages to budgeting that you must be made aware of. The disadvantages are certainly one of the biggest challenges of budgeting.

These are things that can’t be overlooked. You must deal with the fact that though there are many, many advantages to budgeting, there are also some drawbacks.

One of the biggest drawbacks is the time required. Most people recommend that you start out by tracking your expenses for at least two months.

Everything you purchase, even a simple cup of coffee, must be accounted for. This alone is very time-consuming.

But it’s not only that.

Once you have a budget in place, you must also spend time managing your money to make sure you stay on budget.

For example, a trip to the grocery store now requires much more time to plan to ensure you stay on budget AND get what your family really needs.

Another disadvantage is fear.

People not only fear change, but they also fear facing the truth. It can be scary to make such drastic changes to your spending habits.

However, it can be even scarier to take a hard look at your spending habits. Many people have no idea just how bad their spending is until they start tracking their expenses.

Lastly, getting everyone in your family involved can be difficult.

Your spouse may want to continue spending as normal and your kids may not understand why things have suddenly changed.

You may also get a lot of guff from your friends who are used to going out with you and having fun.

Getting everyone to see the big picture will take time.

What is a budget problem?

A budget problem is when you’re constantly wondering where the money you need is going to come from.

When you begin to rely on credit cards to cover your basic expenses, there is definitely a budget problem.

Many people feel that they don’t make enough money to have money to save. The truth is many people are living above their financial means.

In other words, they are spending more than they’re making. This is one reason why a budget is so important.

If you feel that you have a budget problem, you need to tackle the challenges of budgeting so that you can move forward to financial success.

Challenge #1 – Making the budget too restricted

A challenge many budgeters face is making their budget too strict. You may be excited about being smarter about your money and finally having money to save.

However, restricting your budget too much can result in failure. For example, you might decide on a $100 a week grocery budget and have a family of six.

Chances are you’ll find that amount doesn’t work and be stuck taking money from another area.

You want to give yourself room in your budget and be realistic. This is why tracking your expenses is so important.

You want to get a better idea of how much money you’re spending in variable areas, such as groceries and household items.

That doesn’t mean you need to continue spending that much, but you will have a much better idea of what will actually work for your family’s budget.

Challenge #2 – Not setting financial goals

Why is important to have financial goals?

Another one of the challenges of budgeting is not setting financial goals. You’ve cleared up money in your budget, but what are you doing with that extra money?

It’s always important to have goals.

Whether it be saving for a vacation or paying off debt, you want to have a job for your money. If your money doesn’t have a job, you are more likely to spend it carelessly.

What are 3 tips to creating money goals?

When creating money goals, you want to keep three things in mind:

  1. Be realistic. It’s great to want to plan a vacation, but don’t try to save for a $30,000 trip in one year. You must be realistic about the goals you set for yourself.
  2. Make debt a priority. If you have debt, your first financial goal should be to pay it off. Not only does debt continue to grow, but it can lead to stress, marital problems, and even health issues.
  3. Set a date. It’s not enough to say, “I want to pay off my debt.” You need to have a date in mind. This ensures that you work hard and stay on track. Not setting a date means you have nothing to hold yourself accountable.

Challenge #3 – How to get everyone involved with a family budget

You want to get everyone in your family involved with a family budget so that it’s easier to stay on track. It can be difficult to meet your financial goals and stick to your budget if your spouse is continuing to spend money the way your family always has.

There are three tips you can use to get everyone involved with budgeting:

  1. Talk about it. You should sit down with your family and discuss the changes and why budgeting is important. Make sure everyone is heard but drive home the importance of sticking to a budget and its benefits.
  2. Create financial goals together. A great way to get everyone on board is to create a financial goal that everyone is interested in. For example, everyone may be excited about going on vacation or getting a pool. It’s easier to get your family involved when you show them the prize.
  3. Reward yourself. Speaking of prizes, rewarding yourselves for sticking to a budget is a great way to keep everyone on track. Whenever there is money left over at the end of the money from groceries or whatever, do something together as a family. Go to the movies, eat out, etc. Your family will work harder each month to ensure they get rewarded.

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Challenge #4 – Sticking to the same budget and not adjusting it

Yet another of the challenges to budgeting is not adjusting your budget. Just because you created a budget, doesn’t mean it’s set in stone.

Take the time to go over your budget any time you seem to struggle to stay on track. There will also be months where you need more money for one expense than another.

For example, during the holiday season, your grocery budget will more than likely need to grow to accommodate the expenses.

There is no set limit on how many times you should look at your budget. In fact, at the beginning, you should probably look over your budget monthly to make sure it’s working the way you want.

Again, it will also need to be adjusted throughout the year to meet different financial obligations.

Challenge #5 – You are impatient

People expect for a budget to work overnight when in reality it takes time to see results. You will struggle in the beginning as you adjust to spending a set amount on certain things, such as groceries.

At first, it may even seem like a waste of time to devote so much time to the task. Stick with it. Over time you’ll have more and more money in your account and will begin to see the fruits of your labor.

You can check to see whether or not your budget is working by using budgeting tools. There are a number of spreadsheets and worksheets out there designed to keep you on track.

You can also incorporate proven systems, such as the cash envelope system in which you rely on money you put into an envelope for your variable expenses rather than your credit or debit cards.

There are also several free apps available to help you track your expenses and create a budget that works for you.

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