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8 Challenges of Budgeting and Best Tips to Overcome Them

Challenges of Budgeting

Challenges of budgeting is the reason most people run away from budgeting their money. They rather prefer to do with it what they want until their next income.

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Although budgeting can be very frustrating when you’re just starting out, especially, when you have not found the method that works well for you, but over time, with a rinse and repeat method, you will finally understand what’s working.

You don’t need to be perfect with budgeting right away or follow any set rules that will get you frustrated and probably make you lose more money.


What you need to do is to keep testing the waters while putting your eyes to the ground. You need to pay proper attention to details and tend to your budget like a second baby so that you can actually win the game and master your money once and for all.

It’s totally understandable if you are currently going through a series of budgeting challenges. It’s quite normal- you’re bound to face them at some point.

The truth is, even budget experts run into some challenges of budgeting at one point or another, so you don’t need to beat yourself or quit budgeting because of its challenges.

Here are some of the most common budgeting challenges and tips to overcome them successfully.

8 Challenges of Budgeting and Tips to Overcome Them

The first challenges of budgeting- Inconsistent Income 

Inconsistent income is one of the biggest budgeting challenges that so many people are roped in.


Not everyone is lucky to have a consistent income or a job that pays a regular set sum every month or bi-weekly.

If inconsistent income is your budget challenge, here’s what to do.

Actionable tips

  • Use a flexible budget system.
  • You can start with a weekly budget.
  • Gradually extend your budget bi-weekly and then monthly, when you finally understand or have a rough figure of your income.
  • Always make sure you are reviewing your budget to amend loopholes.
  • Rinse and repeat.
  • Don’t give up.

Second budgeting challenge-  expensive emergencies

unexpected and expensive emergency are a huge budget killers and if you regularly bump into this type of emergencies, then you are bound to be drained out and ready to quit.

Nobody is praying for emergencies but they are bound to happen as long as we live.

No one wants to be sick but at one point you’re going to be sick or a pet/child.

No one wants to lose their job but at some point you’re going to lose your job.

No one wants to have an accident but at some point, someone close will have an accident if not you. 

You can solve all these emergencies by having an emergency fund in place.

Although saving one up is not easy but that should be your first target when you have decided to take on the budgeting Road.

Actionable tip

Start saving a set amount for your emergency fund every month. You shouldn’t stick to a value, just make sure you save up a decent amount from what you’re currently earning.

Third challenges of budgeting- The urge to spend

The urge to spend can be gruesome especially when you’re lonely or surrounded with people who just want to buy things to make themselves happy.

Spending money when the urge hits you can be a serious setback for your budget.

Sometimes you just want something different or see something flashy and want to get it, or need a very nice meal that you can’t stop thinking about until you’ve had it. 

It’s quite understandable. It can actually be controlled by ensuring you budget for such small pressing needs too.

It may seem quite funny, but if you are budgeting on a very low income then whatever small expense you want, you will have to add it up to your budget, but if you have a flexible income that is not restrictive, you can Set up small funds for miscellaneous expenses.

Actionable tips

Make sure you set up funds for miscellaneous expenses or you include them in your budget no matter how small if you are on a low income.

Avoid staying around unrepentant shopaholics.

Don’t wander around shops to minimise the urge to shop outside your budget.

Look for inexpensive ways to entertain yourself when you are bored.

Fourth budgeting challenge- Budgeting on a low income.

Budgeting on a low income can be so much of a task when you are just starting out. I was once there so I know exactly what I’m talking about.  

If you want to be successful with budgeting on a low income, you need to develop the right mindset and be very strict and prudent enough to bring forth positive results. 

Actionable tips 

Be flexible with your budget.

Include more pressing needs in your budget. 

Try a no spend challenge. 

Always review your budget. 

Start building your emergency fund.

Fifth Challenges of budgeting- Picking a suitable budget method 

In budgeting, you can’t take someone else’s successful budgeting method and apply to yourself, you will almost always end up spending too little, too much or leave out in certain areas of your budget.

The reason is clear enough, everyone is different.

Everyone’s life is different and everyone’s situation is different. It’s important that you are adjusting whatever method you choose to fit your own lifestyle and goals.

Choosing the right budgeting method will help you naturally to overcome common Challenges of Budgeting.

It’s actually as simple as that!

Actionable tips

Here are some Popular budgeting methods to choose from that will suit your basic needs.

  • The Balanced Money Formula. …
  • Cash-Only Budgeting. …
  • Zero-based Budget. …
  • The 60% Solution. …
  • The “No Budget” Budget. …
  • Values-based Budget. …
  • Create-Your-Own Budget.

Read more about them all here.

Sixth challenges of budgeting– Feeling deprived

Most people suffer a severe feeling of deprivation when they are just starting out on budgeting, which makes them quit too quickly. 

But when you think of it as you’re trying to do yourself a favour by budgeting your money, then you’re less likely to feel deprived. 

I understand the feeling, everyone goes through those feelings.

There’s a period when you just want to spend money and you don’t care what will happen tomorrow, you don’t care whether you will have it for the next emergency, you just want to be happy at that moment and do whatever you can with your money, it is totally understandable.

But here’s what you should do.

Actionable tips.

If your income is not too restrictive, you can set up miscellaneous funds to cater for the days when you want extra fun that are expensive.

Look for inexpensive ways to entertain yourself, start gaming, start a series, learn a trade, learn a money making hobby, try some sport, read romance and other empowering books. 

Seventh Challenges of budgeting-  Indiscipline 

You need some level of discipline in order to be successful at budgeting. In short plain words, you can’t budget your money if you’re not disciplined.  

The good news is both concepts can be learnt and mastered with the right mindset overtime. 

Actionable tips

You can start mastering discipline by making your “yes a yes” your “no a no” 

If you have planned not to spend any money in a day or in a week, strive so hard to stick to your plan except when it becomes unbearable.

Don’t go out with friends to shop when you can’t keep yourself from shopping. Be bold enough to tell your friends, get everyone on board and let them know that you have mapped out a budget that you’re sticking to and make sure they are comfortable with it.

While mapping out your budget, have a strong mindset to follow it to the latter “very necessary” which brings us to the last challenge.

Eighth challenges of budgeting– Inconsistency

Inconsistency is a very serious budget killer. Budgeting is going to be very difficult and insurmountable if you’re not consistent with it. 

You have to be consistent and disciplined in order to get positive results from budgeting.  

You can’t stop budgeting just because you didn’t get a result the first time, you can’t stop budgeting because you don’t feel like it in a particular month, you can’t stop budgeting simply because you get caught up with other things. 

It should be your number one priority in a month. 

No matter the challenges you are facing with your budget, you have to keep testing waters until you find one that is perfect for you- 

Which you will definitely find!

To cap it all 

Budgeting is fun, budgeting is a way to control your money rather than having it control you. Budgeting is the fastest way to grow your personal finance, get out of debt and stop living paycheck to paycheck.

Use these 8 actionable tips above to overcome all your Challenges of Budgeting.

All you need to do is master the concept, be consistent, disciplined and the sky is your limit.

Check out  11 ultimate steps to become a millionaire at any age


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