The fresh resolve of a new budget has faded into a apocalyptic mix of receipts for unnecessary purchases and wine to make to you forget. So you busted out of your budget. It happens. Yahoo Finance have inspired this article on reasons why your budget didn’t work and how to make it better for next time.
I swore I was going to exercise every day. I was going to get up at six, go for a run, skive off to yoga a couple of times a week. Welcome to La-La-Land, a place I often reside when making plans. It’s impossible to keep up those kinds of schedules, and attempting to will only make your bust-out all the more intense. Be realistic when you write the budget. Don’t lie to the paper, if you spend $200 a week on grog, write it down. Know what you spend the money on, and make small alterations throughout a period of a couple of months to achieve a more balanced budget. Over-enthusiasm can be a killer; gradual change is still the best way to incorporate new things into your life.
All Work, No Play
I am not going to go out this week. No wine, no movies, certainly no breakfasts that spiral into lunch at the cute cafe tucked into the hillside. Sure, theoretically that doesn’t sound like a Herculean task but in reality, you’ll find yourself in a fairly unhappy place should you attempt it. And, probably sooner rather than later, you’ll bust out of the budget and put a dent in all your good, albeit unhappy, saving. Rewards are good, treats are fun. Work out how much you spend on treating yourself, and ascertain what percentage of your budget you would like that part of your life to be. It’s not going to be the same for everyone, and you’re much better off financially if you work out a level that will allow you to stick with a budget for the long-term.
Same Old, Same Old
Life is not unchanging. The exact opposite, in fact. Life is always changing and so will your expenditure every month. Writing a budget that pretends you will spend exactly the same amount of money every month is going to get you exactly nowhere because as soon as you fall down, you’re likely to abandon the entire enterprise. Write a budget that allows for emergencies, and makes allowances for the ebb and flow of expenditure over the year. Have a low-cost November to soften the high-cost December.
Some people are anal-retentive. They love keeping their receipts and putting them in little categories; that helps them budget. Others like nothing more complex than essential and non-essential in a big pile. If you’ve jumped ship on a budget, perhaps you’re structuring it in a way that doesn’t suit you. Know your own behaviours, and what methods allow you to stick with things, and incorporate that into how you work with your budget.
So Not 2011
Can’t work out the money keeps going? Instead of packing it in, next time just update your budget. Maybe you’ve forgotten to allow for the rent increase or the new phone plan. Keeping your budget up-to-date is going to make your life so much easier. You’ll be much less likely to bail if your budget is relevant and easy to keep on top of.