Top Three Causes of Budget Failure
Many people make an honest attempt to budget, but become discouraged and give up before they are able to accomplish any significant financial gain. The top three causes of budget failure come into play before you even begin to set up your budget. Awareness of these budget busters, is your first line of defense in the Battle of the Budget.
Budget Buster #1 - Negative Attitude
It cannot be emphasized enough--a positive attitude about budgeting is essential to your success. If you think of budgeting in negative terms (such as a financial diet, financial handcuffs, restrictive, penny-pinching, a sacrifice, etc.), you are sure to fail, unless you are a martyr or a masochist who finds some strange reward in a punishing experience. For purposes of this article, we will assume that you are neither.
A positive attitude means you think of a budget as a means to an end--a way to achieve your dreams and goals--and that postponing the instant gratification of spending all the money you earn is worth the rewards you will earn in the end.
Budget Buster #2 - Lack of Motivation
What is your motivation for budgeting? Are you trying to appease a nagging spouse? Following the terms of a debt repayment plan with a consumer credit counseling agency? Complying with an agreement made in bankruptcy court? These are not bad motivations, but they are external pressures and will probably not be easy to maintain over time. The best motivations are internally generated: do you honestly believe that budgeting can help you meet your goals?
If you need a little help in the motivation department, see "Twelve Reasons Budgeting Can Improve Your Life". A quick re-read of these will surely inspire and ignite a motivational spark or two!
Budget Buster # 3 - Unrealistic Expectations
What do you expect to gain from instituting and following a budget? Do you think that setting up a budget will reveal large caches of hidden cash or that the budget fairy will sprinkle fairy dust over your budget and magically transform your spending habits after a month or two of tracking expenses?
The reality is that budgeting is an endurance event--those who stick with it, through thick and thin, will come out ahead financially. Do not expect miracles. What you WILL see if you stick with it is steady, measurable progress towards the goals that really matter to you.
Starting a budget without having a positive attitude, internal motivation, and realistic expectations, will probably set you up for failure. You can greatly increase your chances of success by ruling out the three biggest budget busters before you even begin.
Family budgeting – just the thought of it makes most of us cringe. However, mostly, we do attempt to curb our spending and live within our means. Others fall into bad habits, habitual spending patterns or impulse shopping and over-extend themselves, landing knee-deep in debt!
Ironically, one of the first remedies for any debt consolidation or repair strategy, is to take a long hard look at the budget and financial patterns within the household! It is almost like running a diagnostic.
To take a closer look, you are in effect placing your family dollars under a magnifying glass and microscope. This can prove both challenging and painful for most people. We hope to alleviate some of that initial discomfort and apprehension with this handy step-by-step guide and tips.
Go to the next page of your free Family Budget Tips Guide : Customize Your Family Budget Plan