Jill is a divorced woman in her forties wondering about budgets. She lives from paycheck to paycheck, trying to make ends meet. There are months she isn’t sure that she’s going to have enough money to meet her obligations and then Jill has to scramble, taking money from one bill to help pay another.
She makes a decent income but doesn’t know why she is always broke. Jill knows she has to do something so she decides to start a budget. She makes a list of her income and all her expenses and sticks with the plan. For a little while.
Soon though, Jill finds herself slipping back into her old habits and struggling to pay everything. Jill is convinced that she can’t stick to a budget and budgets don’t work. Does that sound familiar? Have you ever gone through something similar? Have you started a budget only to fall off it within months?
Is Your Budget Setting You Up To Fail?
You aren’t alone, many people do this. There are many reasons this happens.
- The budget is too strict. It doesn’t allow any funds for entertainment. There are some people who can live an austere life but most of us cannot. We need to have fun.
- Budgets are not set in stone. They should be fluid, allowing for life’s unexpected expenses.
- A person expects himself or herself to do a complete overhaul of their habits and personality immediately. That’s hard. Some people can do it but when times get tough, we revert to whom we really are.
- There is no plan for emergencies.
- The person is trying to do it all alone, without the support.
Take A Winning Approach
Don’t feel as if you are a failure if you cannot adhere to a budget if you have never done so in your life. Or if it is a budget that restricts you too severely. Instead, sit down and work with your numbers:
- Find expenses you can reduce or delete.
- Plan to put a little money away each month.
- Put more than necessary on credit cards – the good thing about that is the not only will you get the balance down on the credit card faster but if you have an emergency, you can pay the minimum for one month and use the extra for the emergency.
There are many ways to make a budget work and to live comfortably with one. It just takes a little work.
Do you need a speaker about debt reduction? Contact Karen here.
Karen is profiled in our Celebrate Audacious Series