Congratulations! You’re ready to learn how to budget. You made a budget and you’re working hard to stick to it.
However, as you try sticking to your weekly or monthly budget, your car breaks down, your spouse overspent on an item you don’t really need, your water heater suddenly breaks, and the list goes on and on.
How To Budget With Solutions You Can Really Use
Learning how to budget money is not without it’s challenges and obstacles. There are times when your budget is working perfectly and you’re saving a ton, but, then there are times when you feel like everything you’re doing is wrong, and you’ll never get ahead because you can’t win for losing!
Many of us experience budgeting problems when we begin to keep track of the money we’re spending. Handling budgeting challenges is just a part of the process. Don’t worry, once you know how to deal with it, you’ll see your money plans succeed.
Handling your finances can be tricky, we know that, that’s why we need a budget to start with! You may be a saver, but, your spouse may be a spender.
Things happen in life and you just don’t have a backup plan to support it. There are a number of reasons you may not have been able to achieve your budgeting goals before now.
To get on track, you need to identify the most common budgeting challenges you might face and know how you’ll handle each one as they come up.
You need to be prepared when something comes along out of the blue — and immediately be ready with a solution, because you’ve thought it out ahead of time.
When we panic or become overwhelmed because we weren’t prepared it throws us off and makes us want to throw our hands up and forget the whole thing.
Here’s a list of the most common budget challenges you might face and a plan of attack you can use for how to handle the money in any situation.
Getting Your Spouse On Board
Your spouse plays a huge role in staying on budget. Not having your spouse working with the same goals in mind can absolutely derail your entire plan for how to manage your money and never allow you to get ahead at all.
When you’re married, you agree to do things in life together. Money is a huge part of that life and how you decide to manage the money together can be a very big deal.
If you’re not on the same page financially, you’ll have to have an honest conversation with your spouse. Talk about real life and the hard stuff: Money.
The only way for you to have a truly intimate relationship with your spouse is to open up and be willing to hear what your partner has to say (in all areas – not just money – ijs 🙂 ).
If you’re not being open and honest you’ll never be able to work together on how to budget and build a stable financial life together.
Talk about your shared goals for your future as husband and wife and the future of your family. If you can envision it together, you can start taking the first steps to achieving your financial goals.
All Work And No Fun
Once you start living on a budget, one of the biggest challenges is sometimes feeling that you’re doing all the work and having no fun… at all.
But, you can still have fun! You can enjoy date night, fun out with friends, throw parties, have family time, get in shape, and do all the things you did before.
You just need to plan ahead and find little ways to save while having fun. Also, choose the order of importance, in case something needs to be cut back or even cut out completely.
You can go to a waterpark, a zoo, or a fair for fun and spend less than dinner and a show. You can make the most out of your experience, but, you’ll also need to set a budget beforehand.
Take only the cash you can afford to spend. Take a lot of photos instead of buying souvenirs — you can still bring the fun home without overspending.
I remember once Hubby and I went on a trip and there was a riverboat casino in the town we were visiting, we decided it would be fun to go there, having never gambled before.
He suggested we take only what we were willing to lose with us and leave the rest behind…. that was certainly wisdom on his part as I lost all mine, his winnings, and was determined to go back to the hotel and get MORE money… lol. Needless to say he hasn’t taken me back since… lol
You can also enjoy seasonal activities, too. During the summer, go outdoors and play games or go to the local sporting events and take advantage of the free fun.
During the fall and winter months, you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the season: You can visit a pumpkin patch, haunted houses, or just take a walk through a park to see the leaves changing colors.
You can also enjoy the light displays during the holidays and experience free, but, fun activities. You can get into the spirit of the holidays without spending money.
Going Out To Eat Is Fun
Going out to eat is fun and gives you a break from cooking. Someone else prepares the food and brings it to you.
You don’t need to plan and stress yourself in the kitchen. There is no peeling, chopping, sauteing, and cooking. Just a night off at a local restaurant.
When you do eat at home, which will help your budget by tons, you can save times and money by planning, and even preparing ahead.
Check out this post: 16 Best Ways To Save Money On Groceries!
Also, when you meal plan, you can feed your family in as fast as 15 minutes. You can plan ahead — write down your meal plan for the whole week.
You can also include a few built-in restaurants or fast food nights to reward yourself.
You might also like: Meal Planning Tips Includes free Meal Planning Printable
One of the crucial components of your budget is your emergency fund. As a matter of fact, before you start paying your debts or rewarding yourself, you should be able to save enough to get your emergency fund in place.
Emergency funds are like your own insurance policy: No matter what happens to you or your family members, you’re covered because you have put money away to cover unexpected emergency expenses.
A lot of people keep a credit card for “emergencies.” If you do this, you should consider cutting it up or getting rid of it.
If you want to get on a budget, get ahead, and start to keep your finances in control, you have to stop taking on more debt.
Emergencies happen. A situation may come up and you need money fast. If you have your emergency fund in place, you’ll be able to rest easier since you have the money in place to cover those emergencies.
Getting Your Budget To Fit Your Life
Many people live paycheck to paycheck and it’s a scary way to live. Sometimes it just cannot be helped, but, with a little planning and perseverance you CAN get ahead and know that you’re not going to sink when the first wind blow comes your way..
You might also like: Savings Made Simple! Stop Living Paycheck To Paycheck
Probably the hardest challenges and one of the best tips on how to budget is to make it fit your actual life.
You can follow the recommended percentages you see in books and try to stick to your budget. However, if your budget is not in line with the goals in your life, you may eventually get burned out and quit.
When I set out to lose weight and type 2 Diabetes, I KNEW I had to do it MY WAY. In a way I KNEW I could continue. It had to be a lifestyle change not just a diet – all to gain it back when it was over.
The same goes for how to budget money.
The key is to live a real life on a budget — know where you want your money to take you. Always have a goal for your money.
Be real with yourself, if you want more and a realistic budget doesn’t seem to afford what you want in life, go find a 2nd job, or a better 1st job. There are a ton of ways, these days, to make money online, in your spare time, too.
You might also like: Apps That Pay You Money! The Best Apps To Make Money Fast
Keep Your Eyes On The Goal
Everyone can lose sight of the prize. There are times when you go to the store to buy groceries, you see an awesome sale and you just go a little crazy buying things that are on sale, but, you may not necessarily need.
If you need help at the grocery store, we have you covered.
Check these out:
- FREE eBook
- FREE Videos
- Couponing Question & Answers
- How To Read A Coupon Matchup
- 13 FREE Money Saving and Money Making Apps
Everyone on a budget can stumble from time to time. However, it’s the successful people that know how to get back on track when they mess up.
Challenges will come along: rather than using these challenges as an excuse to quit, go back to where you fell and use these challenges as opportunities to get stronger and better. Start again.
Look back at the mistakes you made, check where you overspent, and ask yourself what happened. What can you do in the future to help you prevent these mistakes from happening again?
Whether it’s giving in and buying the pair of shoes you want on sale, going on an unexpected holiday with your kids, or a family emergency — what should you do to keep yourself on track?
Don’t beat yourself up or dwell on the mistakes you made. Look at them as great chance to learn, move forward, and be better.
When these challenges come into your life again, you’ll know how to handle them! It’s all about learning and growing for the rest of our lives.
What challenges have you faced while learning how to budget?