There are two things that everyone should know about budgets. First, they’re extremely personal. Just because one system works for your friends or family, doesn’t mean that it will work for you as well. Second, your budget is almost always changing. If we forget those two things, we can easily find ourselves in a situation where we’re over budget, spending more than we should and then our budgets seem like they just aren’t working. Whatever you do, don’t give on budgeting! When your budget just isn’t working, there are 3 options for re-grouping that you may not know about!
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Which one you go with is entirely up to you, but if your current budget is wonky (and you know it’s not a low income problem), you’ll need to choose one of them to help get your budget back on track.
When Your budget Isn’t Working
1. We can choose to completely scrap our current budget and re-start from scratch using the same budget method that you’ve been using.
If you do this, be sure to account for any changes that have popped up since your last budget was created. Things like new bills, payments you no longer make and changes in income are some of the most common.
2 .The second option you have is to find a budgeting software to use and let them do the budgeting for you.
Sites like Mint.com, Dave Ramsey’s EveryDollar and YNAB (You Need A Budget) are fantastic for this. Each one offers different features so you may need to look around for one that fits what you’re looking for. EveryDollar is based off of the Dave Ramsey budgeting system and is free to use. Mint.com is more like a line-item budget and is free as well. YNAB is a downloaded program that is also based on a line-item budget and will run you around $50.00.
3. Your third option is to change your budget style.
If you’ve been using a simple income & expense budget, try a budget that is based on percentages. Typically if your budget isn’t working, it may be because you’re using a budget style that doesn’t work for your situation. Try the 80/20 budget where you save/invest 20% of your income and live on 80% or try to budget sticking to various percentages for categories like this budget via Dave Ramsey:
Charitable Gifts 10-15%
In the end, your budget is your budget and only you know what works. While your budget is something you should be trying to stick to, don’t be afraid to make changes if you need to!
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