It’s never easy to create a budget and you are justified for that feeling of awesomeness and accomplishment at the end. But sometimes, even after creating a really good budget, you still find yourself with a terrible bottom line at the end of the day. What goes wrong? This post addresses some of the issues that arise after creating budgets, why they happen and how to overcome them.
First of all, this post is assuming that you created your budget after deciding you really wanted to, deciding on a long-term or short-term goal based on your budget, understanding your income, your assets and your liabilities and then working all of this info through a budgeting tool like Microsoft Excel. If you did all that, good. Your problems aren’t that huge after all. Here’s why you are not having your desired result and what to do about it:
You did not put in accurate data when creating your budget
It is always advised, especially for those who do not earn salaries, to use a realistic figure as your income when creating budgets. No one is going to see your budget lying around, well, not just anyone, so do not hold back, put the actual figures down. You have to be real when creating your budget. Using a figure that is far above what you earn is just wishful thinking and will leave you a negative bottom line, that will only look good on paper.
Work with your bank
Work with your bank or employer to create an automatic transfer system that will help you budget. If you have not incorporated your account manager into your confidence on this budgetary issue, what have you been waiting for? If your budget accounts for a savings account, money should be sent automatically from your current account to the savings account as soon as you get your check. That account should also not have an ATM so as to limit your spending from that account. Some banks also offer special discounts on their major saving accounts such as zero maintenance fees. Find out from your bank what the options are today.
Only pay in cash
While card payments are easier for you to track, they however encourage you to spend more. To keep in line with your budget, you should create a maximum weekly or monthly withdrawal limit. This will limit the amount of cash you carry about. Paying only in cash will then limit your spending, as against paying with cards.
As an addition, avoid credit cards completely.
Track and monitor
Tracking and monitoring your budget should not occur only at the end of the budgetary period. You should track and monitor daily or even hourly. Monitoring your budget closely will give you immediate notification of when you start to go out of line. Be ready to adjust immediately. No budget is set in stone, and there is no legislation that says once you have set a budget you cannot change it. For example, if cost of food goes up, or the economy slumps and you suffer a financial setback, you may need to adjust your budget to fit that condition.