Keeping a budget is never easy. It takes practice, discipline, and a bit of agreement with everyone living in the home. below are the three main reasons budgets rarely stick anymore.
1. A Lack of Buffer Room
If every budgeter was honest with themselves, they would leave a room for error. A budget is meant to change (slightly) based on unexpected situations. How about a popped tire? What happens when a car is towed after a bad parking choice? Is there a school fee, a cell phone plan price increase, a speeding ticket, and millions of other things accounted for in the budget? Most budgets fails because one issue throws the whole thing off. If the budget accounted for a surprisingly expensive dinner, traffic accident, and anything else, the issue would not derail the budget.
There is a tendency to overset goals beyond what is realistically feasible. Take, for example, the New Year diet regime. Every year a friend or two announces their ambitious plans to lose weight starting January 1st. They are working out an hour a day. They will drop a pound a week minimum, and they want all their friends to hold them accountable. After a month, they are left figuring back into the same habits of weight loss they always had. The reason they fail has a lot to do with the restrictions of the plan and goal. Goals that are too restrictive are impractical, and it creates the reverse effect of discouraging people sooner than later. Budget realistically. If a spouse has a caffeine addiction, dropping coffee entirely from the budget may be impractical. If the family loves to go out and eat fast food twice a week, dropping it entirely may be too much (even though its better in every single way). The bottom line is that budgets that are too refined and too tight are doomed to fail.
3. The Family is Not in Agreement
Dad has a fantastic budget plan. He budgeted out money for the kids and made cuts to the family fun day. Unfortunately, no one else agrees. The chance of success for the budget? Zero percent- at best.
The whole family should be on board with the budget . It could even be turned into a fun collaborative process where everyone holds everyone else accountable. Budgets succeed when they are fairly flexible, and the succeed even more when everyone knows the rules, goals, and expectations.