I’m declaring that this year is going to be your year to conquer the budget! Pretty bold of me right? I don’t know your personal financial situation and I don’t know exactly what you’re struggling with in your financial life.

But what I DO know is that having a budget is CRITICAL to your financial success. There is no way around it. If you’re serious about taking your finances to the next level then you MUST conquer the budget. I recently took a poll in my community to see what challenges people have with budgeting.

Here is the feedback I received:

  • Trouble getting started
  • Inability to stick to the budget/lack of discipline
  • Omitting line items and categories
  • Unplanned expenses that pop up
  • Impulse buying
  • Bills going up, income the same (#facts)
  • Difficulty staying motivated

Did you notice that no one said that the numbers are difficult? The math is simple but lack of accountability and lack of a successful framework are tripping us up with the budget.

7 Reasons Why Your Budget Isn't Working

7 (more) reasons why you’re on the budget struggle bus:

1. Your budget isn’t written

This one is a no-brainer. It doesn’t matter what framework you choose (an app, EXCEL spreadsheet, or good ole’ pin and paper)…but the budget has to be tangible. Not just numbers floating in your head.

2. The budget is too lax.

 Although it would be nice to include everything that your heart desires, it’s not realistic. Sacrifices are required to get the necessary results.

3. The budget is too restrictive.

Be sure to include some stuff just for fun! It doesn’t have to be a ton of money but put aside a few dollars for yourself so that you can purchase a tube of lipstick, your favorite coffee or smoothie every now and then without kicking yourself and feeling guilty. My husband and I both get personal spending money every month to spend at our own discretion.

4. Failing to track your dollars as you spend.

Putting the budget on paper is the easy part! Living the budget every day is the difficult part. Tracking your spending throughout the month is one of the most important parts of the budgeting process. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until the end of the month, crossing your fingers, and hoping for the best.

5. Not accounting for emergencies and irregular expenses.

Emergencies and irregular expenses are going to come up. There is no way around that. But work towards being as prepared as possible. If you haven’t done so, start an emergency fund today. Like…right now! Your first goal is $1,000. The next goal is 1 month of core (must-have) expenses in savings.

6. Not giving the budget enough time to work.

I can’t tell you how many times I hear people tell me…”My budget just isn’t working”. My next question is, “How long did you try”? For anyone who says a few weeks, or a month. My response (with love) is #girlbye. Holla at me after you’ve tried it for another couple of months! But seriously, any good budget requires adjusting. Don’t be discouraged if you forgot to include a few budget line items and inadvertently went over budget. Adjust and have a do-over next month.

7. Lack of accountability.

Your eyes might be the only set of eyes on your monthly budget. This means that you can fall off at any time and no one will even know. This is a difficult spot to be in because there is no one to give you the kick in the pants (again with love) that you need to get back on track. Seriously consider getting yourself a budget buddy or an accountability partner who can ‘check you’ with love!

Let me know what your biggest budget struggle is! (Seriously I wanna know)