Budgeting Frustrations and How to Overcome Them

A budget you have been told is a smart way to manage your money but, why is yours so frustrating? These 4 reasons may be why

  1. Your Income Does Not Match Your Expenses

For many people an income is a constant and no surprise; it does not miraculously become more when it is time to receive it. Having said this, there are indeed emergencies and unforeseen circumstances but you must strive to match your expenses with your income.

Even if your income varies from month to month or something unexpected happens remember if you spend more than you earn; you have a problem. If you spend more than you earn it means that you are accruing debt and your budget is suffering.

Look closely at what you spend the money on and try to fritter out things that you want and do not need. Adjust your expenses to your income and try to live according to what your income can afford you.

  1. You Under Budget

It’s easy to underestimate how much you’ll spend on some categories, especially food and fuel. If you are consistently overspending your budget in some categories, it might be time to increase the budget for those areas.

A mismatched income and budget spend may also be due to the fact that you forgot to include some expenses and at the end of the month it will look as though your budget is not working. The fact is, it is already under estimated.

Go back to your budget and make sure all the categories are covered and if your income or expenses change, make sure your budget reflects the changes.

  1. You are Depending on Your Memory

Consult your budget if you want it to work. Don’t just write the numbers on paper and put it in a drawer and forget about it. Your memory may be good but it is better to refer to your budget frequently to keep on track.

Use the written budget to track your spending and compare it to what you’ve spent money on. And, instead of a piece of paper use your phone to record the budget and this way you will not have an excuse not to use it as you have your phone with you all the time.

  1. You Are Being Too Harsh

Yes staying on budget may require you to say “no” to some unplanned purchases but, you do not have to cut on things that you enjoy. Having a budget doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your usual pass times. It just means you decide how much you’re going to spend on those things because cutting out all the fun will make you really hate budgeting. This will not do at all.

Swop a certain purchase for another or delay some purchases, so that you can enjoy something for yourself, your partner or child. Remember that not sticking to your budget could have consequences, like more debt to pay or having to dip into your emergency fund to pay the regular bill or two.



A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo