Four reasons budgets fail

saveYou did everything right (at least you think you did). You sat down and set your budget, and are doing your level best to stick to it. However, it seems that each month, in one way or another, you are falling short.

Many people don’t recognize that your budget is a dynamic entity, and requires revisiting and retooling over time. Here are some reasons why budgets commonly fail.

Get “fail” off the table

There is nothing as demotivating as the perception of failure. It makes you want to give up altogether. Rather than throwing your hands up in the air and ditching the idea of responsible money management, take a hard look at why you are falling short, and then take steps to remedy it.

Too much. Too soon.

You know those crazy diets where you lose 10 pounds in a week? That’s great- but it involves you engaging in unrealistic (and often dangerous) habits in the very short term that are completely unrealistic and unsustainable in the long term. Trust me- the minute you have a sandwich, you gain half the weight back.

By the same token, is your budget unrealistically restrictive? Maybe it’s too heavily based on your intentions, and not in reality. Loosen up for the long term.

Do you know where you’re going?

Have you outlined your goals? Specifically? If you are on a journey without a clear destination, then no kidding you’re spinning in circles. Don’t have a goal of “save money”. How much money? What steps are you going to take? What is your timeline? What are your short, medium and long term goals?

Things change. So should your budget.

When is the last time that you retooled your budget? If it’s been awhile, time alone can be the culprit behind your falling short in meeting your budgetary goals. Maybe there’s been changes in your household, job or social life- all influences to your cash flow.

Costs change over time as well, like food, energy and gas costs, so it only makes sense to make your budget accurate.