Are you encountering resistance to personal finance budgeting?
I am 100% convinced, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if you want to be successful with your money that you must utilize a budget.
I also know that there are a lot of obstacles to starting a budget.
But, these challenges are certainly not insurmountable. They just need to be recognized and dealt with.
Today, I want to help you understand what the budgeting obstacles are and how to handle them.
5 Common Budgeting Obstacles with Solutions
Most of the reasons that we fail to establish a budget fall into one of the five categories below.
Along with a brief explanation of the obstacle, I’ve also provided a way to get past it. In addition, I’ve linked to supplementary material that expands on the obstacle and/or solution.
Using this information, you should be able to beat these budgeting obstacles and get things running smoothly.
Obstacle #1 – Resistance from Within
It is no secret that many people hate budgeting. You may feel that it puts a crimp on your desired lifestyle. You may think you just don’t need a budget.
Well, that’s pretty much how I felt a few years ago. When my wife brought up the idea of establishing a budget, I resisted – to put it mildly.
The good thing (and bad thing) about a budget is that it brings out into the light exactly how you spend your money. The budget doesn’t lie. It exposes everything that is going on in your finances.
Information is power. A budget gives you the information you need to regain control over your money. You resist because you don’t want to change your bad spending habits. It is that simple.
You overcome the resistance from within by educating yourself on the value of budgeting. Ask yourself, “What are my financial goals?” Now ask yourself, “Will my present money habits get me where I want to go?” If the answer is no, then you better change how you are handling your money. A budget is the tool to do just that.
Obstacle #2 – Opposition from a Spouse
Okay, so you want a budget, but your spouse won’t cooperate. This is one of the most common budgeting obstacles among married couples. As I said, I resisted when my wife wanted to start a budget so, I’m familiar with this impasse.
Perhaps you and your spouse just have different views on money. Typically, one of you will be a little more conservative when it comes to spending. The key is figuring out how to meet in the middle.
The solution is patient communication. I can’t emphasize the patient part enough. You cannot force a budget down your spouse’s throat. It will never work.
You are going to have to be very persuasive and reason with them. Most husbands and wives want a secure financial future. You need to gently educate your spouse on how a budget can help you achieve your goals. Of course, this starts by learning as much as you can yourself. Take your time and go slowly. Your spouse will come around if you do this right.
Obstacle #3 – Irregular Income
Not everyone earns a set amount every two weeks. A steady paycheck certainly makes budgeting easier, but it is possible (and probably even more critical) to budget when your income is irregular.
This is a common obstacle for the self-employed, seasonal workers and sales professionals. You earn more when business is good and less when things are slow.
Irregular income requires a special approach to money handling. With a slightly different mindset, you can easily make your budget work.
I think the best way to handle an irregular income is to have a separate “business account”. You put all your income into this separate account. You then “pay” yourself a regular amount every month or every two weeks whichever you prefer. This flattens out your personal income and makes budgeting a lot easier. You can discover more details about how to do this in the articles below.
Obstacle #4 – Inflexible Methods
“I tried budgeting before and it didn’t work, plus I hated it,” this is a very common excuse. It usually arises from an inflexible budgeting method (or mindset).
A budget should not be a hammer that you use to whack yourself, your spouse or your other family members on the head. It is a tool to guide your spending toward your goals.
When a budget is too rigid, it won’t last. Your budget must allow for some discretionary spending.
The key here is flexibility. You must use your combined judgment to decide when to vary from your plan.
Recognize and acknowledge up front that you can and probably will make adjustments to your budget regularly. Life is not 100% predictable and we are all human. You must allow for this or your budget will never take root.
A Rigid Budget Will Die a Quick Death
Obstacle #5 – Lack of Understanding
The overarching obstacle to living on a budget is a lack of understanding. You probably resist budgeting just because you have the wrong impression. These stubborn ideas stand in your way. They inhibit you financially.
Now that I’ve been utilizing a budget for several years, I totally love it. I realize that our budget has given us freedom instead of taking it away. It has enabled us to accomplish several financial goals that have opened up our finances and reduced our stress about money.
The only way I know to overcome this budgeting obstacle is to just try it. Develop a budget and work with it for a few months. Use it to direct your money toward your goals. Once you see the economic progress you make (possibly for the first time in your life), you’ll be a convert the same as I am.
Budgeting Ultimately Leads to Freedom
A budget leads to financial freedom. It is not bondage or slavery. No, that’s likely where you are living now.
Beat these budgeting obstacles and you will find a whole new sense of independence and liberty.
What budgeting obstacles are you facing? Leave me a comment and I’ll try to help.
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