9 POOR MISTAKES YOU MAKE WITH YOUR BUDGET
If you still can’t fix your personal finances and you can’t seem to save any money whilst budgeting finances, this article is for you.
These are 7 unfortunate mistakes that are making you fail at budgeting your money sensibly. Avoid these 7 things to start saving money successfully.
This list of budgeting tips will get you through the year, especially during the Christmas holidays so you don’t spend too much money and start the new year in debt.
- NOT HAVING “NO SPEND” DAYS
Have you heard of a ‘no spend day‘?
A no spend challenge is one where you basically don’t spend any money! It may sound easy, but if you look back through your spending (such as on your bank statements) you may be surprised to see that you are spending money daily, and it’s on unnecessary stuff to boot.
I have a post all about a No Spend challenge which should help you with this – the best thing to do is to be fully prepared, and also to understand how much money and psychology go hand in hand. You can start off with a no spend day, and then increase it to a week/month etc.
- NOT HAVING AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER
Getting an accountability partner will help you in so many ways. When you are on your debt payment journey, it can feel isolating and lonely, especially if you have no-one close to you going througIf you are going through a rough patch or something has come up that will derail your budget (unfortunately, this is likely! Boooo) moaning to your close friends won’t have the same effect if they just look at you with a puzzled look on your face and say things like “just put it on the credit card”! But if you have someone to keep you on track, you are much more likely to be successful on your journey.
- NOT REDUCING BIG EXPENSES
The biggest areas of expense are generally housing and transport. These are also areas of massive resistance, because they can involve sacrifices.
However, at the very least what you should do is see if you can re-mortgage to a lower rate, or use a cheaper method of transportation.
In a more drastic fashion, you could sell your house and get somewhere much cheaper, or rent somewhere cheaper if you are renting.
You could sell your car/s and walk/cycle/bus it around, or get a cheaper car. As I said, these are more drastic – but they only need to be temporary. Could you go without a car for a year or two if it will save you thousands?
- FOCUSING ON SMALL EXPENSES
When we first start budgeting, the small things start to go – for example, the daily coffee. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t cut down/get rid of this – on the contrary, I think you should do – but my point is that we can focus on the small savings and ignore the potential big savings.
- NOT DOING FREE OR FRUGAL ACTIVITIES
There are fun things that you can do for free (or very cheap) and I have some posts which will help you:
- Fun Frugal Hobbies You Can Do Whilst On Your Debt Free Journey
- Cheap Date Ideas When You’re On A Budget
- Budget Kids Activities
If you are tempted to buy something, have a look on sites such as Freecycle, Freegle or Gumtree to see if anyone is giving it away first (you’d be surprised what people give away for free)
- NOT STARTING A SIDE HUSTLE
I have a big list of 100 side hustles that you can do – there will hopefully be at least one on there that you can do!
Earning extra will be one of the BEST things that you can do on your debt payoff journey, I promise. You may get tired and be really busy, but it will be worth it.
And just think of all of the extra cash that you will have once the debt is gone!
- NOT USING A BUDGET PLANNER
My favourite kind of budget is a zero-sum budget (I was doing this before realising it was already a thing!). I’ve got a post describing exactly how to do your zero sum budget, but essentially it’s where you allocate all of your money to something specific.
Download my budget planner to get started here!
That may sound like a no-brainer, but what most people who don’t budget tend to do is pay the bills, then spend whatever money is left over on themselves (treats, entertainment, Christmas, birthdays etc) and then wonder why there is no money to save.
- NOT HAVING A BUDGET
I believe in writing everything down. It really does help to create something for you to look at and see your progress in black and white, to keep you motivated.
There are plenty of things that you can do visually to keep you motivated on this journey, such as:
- Use an expense tracker.
- Use a bullet journal
- Use apps
- Write it on a blackboard wall
- Use paper – you could either create a paper chain and take off a link every time
- Make sense out of every penny – download my budget planner that helped me to pay off debt, buy a car and my dream home.
- NOT HAVING CHRISTMAS ON A BUDGET
Having a budget is one of the most important things that you can do – not just at Christmas, but throughout every year. It will show your money where to go instead of you wondering where it all went!
Set yourself a sensible Christmas budget for food, decorations and presents. The lower you can get it, the better.
What mistakes are you making with your budget? Do you do any that I have listed above?