Creating a budget is the best way to take control of your finance, be it personal or for your business. However, even if you have created the best budget after taking help of the experts and considering all contributing factors, your budget may not be working well for you. There are several reasons for it which you should know to make your efforts worthwhile.
To know about it precisely you will need to start from the basics which involve creation of your budget. This will ensure a foolproof budget and a better hold on your money management. Even if you do not use a specific budget spreadsheet, you can follow these six steps to find out where your money is going each month.
This will also help you to gain more confidence in you and control your finances to save money and achieve your financial goals.
Know the net income
The trick of budgeting is to figure out the best possible way to track your finances so that it works for you. Start with taking note of your net income. You can do this by:
- Identifying the amount of money coming in
- Not overspending or overestimating your affordability
- Subtracting your deductionssuch as 401(k), Social Security, flexible spending, taxes, and other allocations.
This will indicate your final take-home pay and the figure that you should use to create the final budget.
If you work part-time or freelance your net income may be low but that does not take away the importance of creating a budget and following it as well. After all, it is your financial freedom that you eventually want to achieve.
Track your spending
The next important step of creating a budget is to categorize your spending and keep a track of it. This will help you to know the areas wherein you can make adjustments knowing the easiest to cut back your unnecessary expenses.
Start by listing all your fixed expenses such as:
- Rent or mortgage
- Car payments
- Insurance and
Focus on your variable expenses next such as:
- Eating out and
This is the only area in which you can find some opportunities to cut back.
Other steps to follow
Once you know about your income and expenses that you cannot or should not avoid you are half done with your budget. The next steps are easy to follow wherein you will need a little bit of discipline and diligence.
- You must try and refrain from using your credit cards far too often. Instead, you should rely on cash purchases only. This will further reduce your monthly expenses.
- Set your goals that you want to accomplish in the short term as well as in the long term and find ways to achieve it easily and successfully.
- Identify your priorities before you start planning a budget and make a plan. This way you can very fairly predict your variable expenses.
- Adjust your habits to stay away from those want-to-have expenses and evaluate your spending on needs.
Lastly, keep checking in and review your budget on a regular basis to find any other areas that may need to be adjusted.
Following these steps, you will be able to manage your finance as well as debt payments whether you have taken it out from sources like libertylending.com or any traditional bank.
Reasons fora budget not working
Now for the most important part, you must understand why your budget is not working even after designing it perfectly. Well, the primary reason is that you may not be doing enough in following your budget strictly and need some more changes to make in your behavior and lifestyle.
- Not tracking your spending – Most people do fail to continue keeping a track of their spending which by it is a tedious and timeconsuming task. However, this is necessary to know to pinpoint your budget leaks and eliminate these altogether.there are several tools and smartphone apps available that will help you a lot in this process.
- Underestimating expenses – Another significant reason for a budget to fail is that people often underestimate their expenses. You may think that all fixed expenses are not worth considering because you cannot make any amendments there. However, if you think deeply, it is true that you cannot do anything with your rent or debt payments, but you can surely reduce your utility bills. Use electric gadgets sensibly, practice Earth Hour in office and home, use water just as much as needed. This will reduce your utility bills substantially.
- High expenses – Your expenses may be too high as well. In such situations, it will eat up all your income each month and may even affect your savings. You may have to start using your credit cards more and therefore take on more debts in turn. It is high time that you reevaluate your bills, reducing your cell phone plan, cancel your gym membership, and switchfrom premium to basic cable services to save some more money each month. You may even take up a higherpaying or a part time job to supplement your income.
- Not saving enough – You may not be saving enough to create a corpus to lay off your debts or to create an emergency fund. This will save you when any disaster strikes and you will not have to use your plastic or take out a fresh loan. If you shuffle your money to much to cover emergency expenses not having any savings, you will not give enough chance for your budget to work.
- Not justifying – You may not be saying no or justifying your spending which is another pitfall that most people fail to avoid and find their budget not working. Make it a point that you do not take on anything that you cannot afford with your given income.
If you keep these points in mind, there is no reason your budget will not work for you.