You’ve been working hard, doing the spreadsheets, following the steps but somehow that budget just doesn’t seem to be working for you. Are you accidentally sabotaging your budget? Here are 5 ways that you can fix that today!
Sabotage #1: You don’t track your spending in categories
Why this is so bad: If you don’t track exactly what you are spending in each area you have no opportunity to see if your budget is really working and where you can optimize.
How to fix it: The easiest way to track your spending in categories is to use the You Need a Budget app. It works on desktop or your phone and it will remember based on where you shop what category it should likely go into. I have used this app for the last several years and it is a gamechanger. Using something that makes it automatic means you won’t have to count receipts and you will see where your money is going. You can get 34 free days of access to the YNAB app here (if you decide to go for full access via this link I get free months of access for my family – so you get a free month and I do too! Cool right?)
Sabotage #2: Your bills aren’t lined up with your paychecks
Why this is so bad: This one is something that most people don’t think about but it can make a big difference in your budget. Having all your bills stacked at one point in the month doesn’t let you have a steady stream of spending money for other things during the month. So some weeks you may have no grocery budget and other weeks you seem to have “too much” to spend and it all goes too fast.
How to fix it: Map out when all your bills are due in comparison to your paychecks. Then call or go online to request that the due date be moved to a different time in the month. Most companies won’t care when in the month you pay as long as it’s within the same month. So even those bills out!
Sabotage #3: You don’t plan for known but infrequent items
Why this is so bad: These are things that are really sabotaging your budget but feel “outside” of your control. They aren’t. Christmas is the same day each year. You know that every four years or so you need tires for your car. There are multiple infrequent things that WILL occur and not budgeting for them makes you constantly feel like you are being “surprised” by these expenses. Plus it throws off your budget. Failing to plan for these things is what is creating stress in your finances.
How to fix it: Start budgeting for this stuff every month man! Car repairs, home maintenance, gifts, subscriptions, clothes, back to school, etc. Set a yearly goal for each category and break it into monthly amounts to set aside. This way when an expense comes up, the money is already there! The peace of mind that this brings is CRAZY and invaluable!
Sabotage #4: You don’t plan for fun in your budget
Why this is so bad: This one is pretty simple. It is WAY too hard to stick to a budget that removes funding for everything you enjoy.
How to fix it: First, you remove the belief that you have to spend money to have fun. That is what is sabotaging your budget. Now, make a list of all the things you enjoy. What can you do for free? Put that on your schedule babe! Scheduled things happen more frequently. Plus, you have the extra bonus of looking forward to that fun (which just makes it better). Then figure out what money you need for the other fun stuff you love. Make it a priority in your budget! Even if it’s a small amount it will help you stick with your goals SO much more!
Sabotage #5: You save without having specific goals for the money
Why this is so bad: It’s too easy for money just sitting in a savings account to go from “emergency fund” to an “I-had-a-bad-week-I-need-a-latte fund”. If you don’t have bigger dreams for your savings it will get spent.
How to fix it: I use my YNAB app (make sure you get your FREE 34-day access here) to create categories for my savings. This way I know how much I’ve saved for specific goals and it doesn’t look “available” for other things. It’s a bit of a psychological trick so that the money seems to be spent already.
Stop sabotaging your budget today
Use all these tips above to help you stop sabotaging your budget and if you are ready for that next-level step make sure you’ve taken the secret money style quiz. You can click below to take the quiz AND get the free roadmap to make your budgeting work even better!