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5 Reasons your monthly budget isn’t working

You’ve probably heard a million times that a monthly budget will help get your finances on track, and that is the truth.

More: Tips for budget-conscious families to manage their money

A monthly budget is also a great way to hold yourself accountable to the money you work hard for every day. Free-spending your cash is a surefire way to get a free ticket to debt row.

However, there are many reasons it may be failing you:

1. Motivation begins with you

Getting that push to yank out the calculator every week to input data into a monthly budget can be daunting for anyone. No one cares more about your money than you do, so finding ways to keep motivated may begin by setting some short- and long-term monthly budget goals.

Once you reach your goals, celebrate your success, and don’t look back.

2. You’re using the wrong budget

Not all budgets are created equally, so you may find that you need to test a few monthly budgets to see how they work for you.

Explore some of the free monthly budgets online, and test them for yourself. The worst thing that could happen is that you find out it’s not for you. The best thing that could happen is you find the right budget fit for your financial needs.

More: How to invest your way to wealth with $50 a month

3. Spending too much

You may be finding it hard to say “no” to those “wants” when you should be focusing on your needs. Anytime you want to spend money, ask yourself if it’s a want or a need. If it’s a want, then review your finances when you get home, and if you can afford it, then your options are clear. If not, then leave it be, and save up so you can pay cash for it without any guilt.

4. You don’t earn enough

If you’re not taking home enough money to pay each monthly budget category when they come due, you may get frustrated with your budget. The best form of action is to earn extra cash that can help boost your monthly net income and help pay your financial obligations.

5. You’re not planning ahead

You might start using a monthly budget with the intention of making magic happen with your finances. This can backfire if you don’t plan ahead, as you could run out of money before the end of the month.

There are many expenses that aren’t taken into account in a standard budget because they are paid only once, twice or even three times a year. Make sure you document any and all projected expenses that will come due throughout the year.

No matter when this expense comes due, you must plan ahead so the money is ready.

Remember: A monthly budget is only as good as the person who inputs the numbers, so do your homework, and don’t give up when money gets rough.

And if a monthly budget is not for you, then I suggest monitoring your financial health to make sure you don’t end up wishing you took better care of your money.

More: Financial planning shouldn’t be a nightmare — here’s how to get started

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