5 Budget Fixes for Common Problems

couple going over finances
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When you are starting to budget or if you have been budgeting for years, you may run into some issues that make budgeting hard. There are some problems that are more common than and others, and it is important to have workarounds that make budgeting easier rather than more difficult. It takes a lot of work to make your budget work. If you are struggling with one of these specific problems, you can use one of these budget fixes to help you solve the problem.

Running Out of Money on the First of the Month

If you are paid once a month, you may experience times of feast and famine financially. When your bills are due at the beginning of the month, you may see the majority of your money disappear in the first week or two and then struggle to find money to cover groceries by the end of the month.

Budget Fix

The budget fix for this issue is to divide your month into weeks and set aside the money for the remaining weeks of the month into a savings account. Then you can transfer the money from your savings account into your checking account each week. This will help you stop spending when you have reached your quota for the week. The other option you can do is to do the same thing using the envelope system and use cash for your weekly expenses.

Cash Flow Issues

Another common budget problem is when you are experiencing cash flow issues. You make enough to cover your expenses throughout the month, but the majority of the bills are due at the beginning, and you get paid weekly or twice a month.

You may feel the pinch at the beginning of the month, and really struggle to cover your bills, while you have plenty of money the second half of the month.

Budget Fix

The way to solve this problem is to put money aside in the second half of the month to help you cover expenses at the beginning of the month.

You could save half of your mortgage payment and other bills, so that you have the rest of your paycheck to cover food and entertainment costs. A little planning can help you handle this budgeting issue.

Communication Issues

You may find that you are great at budgeting by yourself, but when you are in a relationship or married, it is an entirely different issue. Communication is key when you are budgeting as a couple. If you do not communicate, you will not know how much money is left in each category and how much you have left to spend. You may also end up fighting about money all of the time.

Budget Fix

The first budget fix is to meet to review the budget on a regular basis. It may need to be every night at first or once a week. The other solution is to find a budgeting app that you can both update as you spend money. If you are both entering your purchases as they happen, you can easily track what is left in the account as it happens. This can prevent overspending and is a fairly simple solution.

Problem Categories

Everyone has problem categories where the spending is nearly always more than you expected it to be. You may have issues with entertainment costs, clothing costs or food costs.

Often a problem category is related to something that you love doing or something that you hate doing. Another problem may be that you have spending issues in a particular category. Once you identify this you can begin to find a solution.

Budget Fix

The budget fix for this problem is to change the way that you handle it. Switching to cash only for the category can work, especially if you are shopping in person at a store. However, if it is an online purchase, this will not work. You can use a reward system where if you limit spending in the category, you get extra money at the end of the month to spend on something you love. If you are overspending on eating out, because you hate to cook, you can reward yourself with dinner out at a nice restaurant if you stick to the budget and cook. You should also find ways to make it easier to make dinner or tackle other tasks you do not like.

Expenses Exceed Income

You may not realize how big this problem actually is until you sit down to tackle your budget the first time. You may just need to cut back on your spending, but you may also realize that you have an actual income problem where you do not make enough to cover your basic bills. It is important to find a permanent solution to this problem.

Budget Fix

The first step to fixing this problem is to cut all unnecessary spending, at least temporarily. This will give you a chance to get a handle on the problem. Remember that necessary spending includes shelter, utilities (not counting paying for television), food and transportation. After you have done that, you can begin to add back in your other categories. You will also need to look for a solution to raise your income. This may mean something temporary like getting a part time job while you clean up debt, or going back to school so that you can earn more money.