Three Mistakes People Make When Budgeting
and How to Avoid Them
People seem to have a love/hate relationship with budgets. They know they need one, but they hate putting them together. If you’re left-brained and you love spreadsheets and reconciling your books every day, then you’re thinking “What’s the big deal? This stuff is fun.”. If you’re right-brained like me, and a creative type, then thinking about creating a budget (and sticking to it) makes your heart race and your palms sweaty. In working with both types of thinkers I’ve noticed there are three common mistakes people make when budgeting and I’m going to show you how to avoid them.
The first common mistake people make when setting up a budget is that they don’t truly know how to create one. They’re excited and motivated at first to get their finances under control. So they sit down with their budget template and bills. Now what? What do you do if your income isn’t consistent? What about those once a year expenses like car tags and property taxes? How do you know how much you should budget for holiday gifts? Just knowing where to start is a common challenge. So people often quit before they even finish the first month’s budget.
The second common mistake people make when budgeting is that they focus on the basics such as food, utilities, housing, etc. and forget to plan for the future. Things like holidays, anniversaries or special occasions can throw someone’s budget off if they haven’t planned for it. Or they forget to plan for occasional expenses like vet bills, car repairs and summer camp registrations. When something comes up they didn’t expect and it throws off their budget, they think “Well, I’ve already blown the budget, so I may as well forget this month.” Then they have a hard time getting back on track and get discouraged and just quit altogether.
The third common mistake people make when trying to budget is that they don’t have a good support system. Are you married to someone who doesn’t see eye-to-eye with your financial goals? Do you feel like they sabotage your budgeting efforts? Maybe you’re a single mom without a support system and don’t even know where to start with a budget. You can watch a YouTube video or read a book, but then what? Where do you go if you have questions? Perhaps you’ve just graduated from college and you’re wondering how you’re going to pay off your student loans. Where do those fit into the budget? It can seem overwhelming.
So here’s how I can help you with those challenges. First, I have a comprehensive budget worksheet for you. This will give you tips about filling out a budget as well as define common terms such as wage, revenue and salary. Even a beginner will be able to follow this budget worksheet and template, and get started on the right track.
The next way I can help you is to offer you a support system. A place for you to talk about all things money. It’s a place where the community wants to encourage and support your goals. If you are a bad-ass woman looking to get her finances in order, be sure to check out the Empowering Women Financially Facebook Group.
I’ve seen how budgeting can change a person’s life. Even the ultra rich know the value of a budget. I’m here to support and encourage you. You’ve got this!