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Learn the challenges of budgeting first before you start budgeting.

Have you ever tried creating a budget? If so, you’ll know how easy it is to start and create one. 

However, have you ever found yourself struggling to stick to your budget and make it work? 

If you’re nodding right now, I feel you. We’ve all been there. 8 out 10 Americans use a budget but how many of them are really sticking to it?

Creating a budget is easy but sticking to it is the difficult part because there are obstacles and challenges of budgeting.

Today, I will share with you the challenges that you will encounter in your budgeting journey. Additionally, you will learn tips and strategies on how to overcome these challenges.

Now, let’s dive in.

Here are 10 challenges of budgeting that you should know and what you should do about them.

What Is Budgeting

You probably heard it so many times and wondered what it really means. Budgeting is simply the process of creating the best plan on how to spend money.

It allows you to determine if you have enough money for your needs and wants. Basically, it tells you if you are living within or beyond your means.

Objectives Of Personal Budgeting

So what is the purpose of personal budgeting?

It provides a good estimate of your income and expenses. A personal budget gives you an idea of your total income and expenses in a given period of time.

It allows you to create an action plan. Based on your budget, you can work on increasing your income or reducing your expenses.

It provides you a comparison result. Your budget will show you the difference between your budgeted amount with the actual amount.

It provides guidance with decision making. Your personal budget will give you the data you need to make your day to day financial plans and decisions.

10 Personal Challenges Of Budgeting

As I ‘ve mentioned earlier, creating a budget is probably the easiest part of the budgeting process.

And the most difficult part lies in maintaining and sticking to your budget, primarily because of the following challenges and roadblocks that you will encounter along the way.

1) Tracking Income and Expenses Takes A Lot Of Time

Itemizing receipts after receipts is no easy task, not to mention the organization that it takes to prevent loss of receipts.

Tracking every outgoing money from each member of the household can be frustrating that you can miss some of these expenses. 

And if you and your partner have multiple side income and you don’t have a system in place, chances are, your total income will be tracked incorrectly. 

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    WHAT CAN YOU DO:

    Use Apps and Trackers. Using trackers can be a lifesaver, you can use paper trackers or digital trackers. We are using Everydollar for our budgeting and it works well for us.

    You can check out these budgeting apps that can help to track your income and expenses easier.

    Automate Everything If Possible. Make automation your friend and you’ll be set for life. You can automate your bills and savings.

    When you have your finances automated, it can help make things go more smoothly with your money.

    Challenges of budgeting that you should be aware of before you start budgeting.

    2) Getting Everyone To Be On Board Can Be Frustrating

    If everyone in your household has the same money mindset, then you are one of the few. As for the rest of us, either one is a natural saver and the other is a natural spender.

    Unfortunately, it only takes one who is not on the same page to completely ruin your budget.

    WHAT CAN YOU DO:

    Talk And Listen. There is nothing that good communication cannot resolve. You and your spouse might not have the same mindset but you have the same future goal. By talking about it, both of you will end up on the same page.

    3) Feeling Of Missing Out On Fun

    When you are focused on your financial goals, it would seem like you are about all work and no play. As a result, you will feel like you are missing out on the fun.

    You will feel like you and your husband cannot go out on dates anymore or cannot party with your friends.

    WHAT CAN YOU DO:

    Have Fun On  Budget. When you are budgeting, it does not mean that you deprive yourself from having fun. You can still have date nights, maybe not that fine dining restaurant type, but a more romantic and lower scale kind dates.

    Similarly, you can still hang out with your friends without spending a lot of money. You can throw a potluck party, summertime grilling, or play board games. No need to spend money at a restaurant just to have fun.

    4) Learning To Make Home-made Meals Can Be A Challenge

    I totally understand why most people forego cooking at home and settle for carryout or just go out to eat, especially after a long day of work. 

    Making home-made meals on a regular basis is a challenge. It involves a lot of planning and preparing. It is a process. A long process, if you will.

    And it is much more challenging for a beginner who does not know her ways in the kitchen.

    WHAT CAN YOU DO:

    Meal Planning. When you plan your meals, you’ll decrease the stress that you will have in the kitchen. And with meal planning, you control how much you’ll spend on food. Additionally, you’ll have the ability to make sure you are eating healthy. 

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    If you are new to meal planning, you might want to check out how to meal plan on a budget.

    5) Saying “No” Can Disappoint Others

    There will be times in your budgeting journey that you will have to say “no” to your family and friends. As a result, you will feel guilty about letting them down.

    WHAT CAN YOU DO:

    Spend Time With Friends And Family While On A Budget. If you can’t join your family or friends because you do not want to spend money, then invite them over. You can have a pot luck party, grill time, or even a game night.

    Always remember, you do not have to spend a lot just to have quality time with your friends and family.

    Budgeting has its challenges, here is how you deal with them.

    6) Losing Focus On Your Goals Can Happen

    There will be times when you will lose sight of your financial goals. You splurged and blew your budget. It happens to the best of us. But it’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up for it. 

    WHAT CAN YOU DO:

    Don’t Stay Down, Get Right Back Up. It does not matter how many times you stumble, what matters most is that you get back up to your feet and move on to with your financial plan. 

    7) Carrying Cash Can Be Uncomfortable

    If you choose the cash budgeting route, it can be uncomfortable to have cash with you all the time. It creates discomfort because of the fear of loss or theft.  Consequently creating unnecessary anxiety.

    WHAT CAN YOU DO:

    Avoid Carrying Wads Of Cash. Carrying a lot of cash creates temptation not only for you but also for the people around you. Make it a habit to carry smaller amounts of cash.

    Use Cash Envelopes. When you use cash envelopes, you will only take the envelope that you need when you ran an errand. It will prevent you from carrying cash that you do not need.

    Use Credit Cards. Using credit cards will not only eliminate the undue stress of carrying cash but also allows you to earn rewards that you can use later.

    Use Debit Cards. Like credit cards, debit cards will also help ease the worry of carrying cash. However, unlike credit cards, debit cards have lesser protection.

    8) Unexpected Expenses Can Happen

    If you’re familiar with Murphy’s Law then you know that emergencies happen. It’s not a matter of if but it’s a matter of when.

    Your car will break, your faucet will leak, your dog will get sick or your washer and dryer will break. It can happen.

    WHAT CAN YOU DO:

    Have An Emergency Fund. Before you start paying off your debt or save for anything, start saving for an emergency fund first. It will save you when ol’ Murphy comes knocking at your door.

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    Create Sinking Funds. Having a sinking fund or designated savings for each of your big expenses can help in the long term. Start saving for home repair fund, pet fund, new appliance fund, and etc.

    9) Sticking To A Budget Can Cause Boredom

    There will be times in your budgeting journey that you will feel trapped. You will feel like you are doing the same things and eating the same stuff over and over again. 

    You continually worry that if you change your ways, you will miss achieving your financial goals. As a result, you will feel boredom creeping in.

    WHAT CAN YOU DO:

    Budget For Fun. Budgeting should never be boring. Create a category in your budget for fun. This fun money will allow you to buy and experience things that you like — all while sticking to your budget.

    Budgeting challenges that you will have to deal with.

    10) Budgeting Inconsistent Income Can Be Difficult

    When you are self-employed, paid by commission, or have a lot of side hustles, chances are your income will vary from month to month.

    Irregular or inconsistent income can make it challenging to have an effective budget. It will involve continuous adjustments every single month.

    WHAT CAN YOU DO:

    Budget The Average Monthly Income. If your income varies within a three-month period, get your average monthly income by adding the income from all three months, and divide the total by three. The result will be your average monthly income.

    Similarly, you can do the same process if your income varies within a six-month period or even within a year.

    Final Thoughts On The Challenges Of Budgeting

    I can tell you right now that real-life budgeting is not smooth sailing. It has its challenges and obstacles.

    You’ll have times where your budget is working perfectly well and then you’ll have those times where it feels like everything is going wrong.

    However, the good thing about it is that for every obstacle and challenge, there is always a way to overcome it. For more tips, check out these 18 budgeting tips for beginners.

    If you are ready to take your budgeting to a serious level, here are some of the best budget planners that you can choose from.

    Have you encountered any of these challenges of budgeting? What did you do to overcome them?

    Budgeting Related Articles:

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    9 Challenges Of Budgeting (And How To Deal With them)

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