When it comes to finances, good budgeting is an important skill. For many of us though, it can be a tough one to stick to.
Have you tried sticking to a budget but always found yourself going over it? Well, here are 5 possible reasons why - and what you can do about it:
1. Your budget isn’t realistic
Scared of facing your accounts?
Take note of what goes in and goes out each month. You’ll get a clear picture of how much you’re spending on what, and where you need to cut down.
2. You’re not keeping track
Although having a budget in mind is better than no budget at all, you’ll want to write it down for the best chance of success. An unwritten budget is tough to stick to.
Whether you decide to make a few notes on your phone or create a detailed spreadsheet, write it down! There are also a number of free budgeting apps you can download to easily track your spending on your phone.
3. You don’t look at it often enough
Budgeting may not be the most exciting thing in the world! But, it’s necessary to gain more control over your spending.
One of the reasons you may find yourself going over your budget is simply not looking at it enough. Keep a close eye on your spending and note down exactly where and when you’re going over.
You can also get yourself a little more excited by thinking about what you could buy if you stuck to your budget. A tighter budget could be your way of getting out of debt or buying that new pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on for months.
4. You haven’t bargained for something
Budgeting is all well and good, but let’s face it, life happens. The one thing you can be sure of is that some months will be more expensive than others.
You could lose your phone and face boiler issues within the space of a week – nightmare! And why is it that everyone always seems to have their birthdays so close together?
Little additional costs here and there can really add up. Accept that you’re likely to face some unexpected costs each month and factor this into your budget. Just put aside a small amount for those ‘one offs’ each month. This way, you’ll be covered for when something pops up out of the blue.
5. You’re not in ‘auto-budget’ mode
Wouldn’t it help if you could stick to your budget without even trying?
Well, thanks to Direct Debits, you can keep your monthly spending in check with very little effort. Simply set up a Direct Debit for the money you don’t want to touch each month and this money will automatically be sent to a savings account on payday. This way, you'll only be able to access the money you've set aside for your monthly spending budget. No access, no overspending!
Setting a budget and going over it might make you want to give up on the very idea. But, stick with it! It’ll just take a little time to get into the habit. Hopefully, the above tips will help you gain a little more control of your budget in the future.
Don’t forget to set aside a small pot of money for those all-important pick-me-ups. Everyone needs a little treat every now and then. Accept that you’ll fancy a little something extra at least once a month, and set aside a small ‘splurge’ pot.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.