Personal Budget Planning and Challenges

How to Budget Money Using Our Personal Budget Worksheet Form

Before we look into your personal budget planning we are going to look at some of the challenges that hinder the budgeting process.

For most, creating a budget on paper sounds good in theory but that’s all it is – theory.

Before we budget plan we are going to look at some of the challenges that hinder our good intentions.

When I talk with most families, they are serious this time about setting a solid budget that they will follow.

The problem is there are always “things” that hinder that great progress.

Some of the biggest offenders are:

  • Cash Withdrawals from the ATM and grocery store
  • Impulse buying
  • Gift giving
  • Shopping Sales
  • Shop therapy

Wisdom on Reassessing Your Spending #1 -- Personal Budgeting Planning

Let’s start with cash withdrawals from the ATM or at the grocery store.

It’s easy to say “yes” to: do you want cash back? The problem with that is most of the time it doesn’t get logged into the ledger which ultimately messes up the checking account balance.

And additionally, when we take $20 here $40 there, and another $40 here, in a months’ time you may have withdrawn $300.00 without knowing it – and where does that money go? No one knows, it’s not accounted for.

To get serious with your personal budget planning it’s important to have a withdrawal plan, or plan not to withdraw for one month. That way you will see where your money would have gone if you didn’t take it out.

Another way is have a cash envelope for one month that is intended for frivolous spending. Each time you spend any money, write on the envelope where it went. It will help you see where your money goes.

Wisdom on Reassessing Your Spending #2 - Personal Budget Planning

Next is impulse buying. Kind of like the above, but not. Impulse buying is seeing things you want and buying it without thinking if it fits into the family budget, where it will fit in the house, will you have to borrow from some other category like retirement fund or emergency fund or food fund?

In impulse buying it has no logic or care to what it will affect or who it will affect. It’s merely an instant gratification purchase.

Out of all the dangerous spending issues this one can be the worst. This is the one that creates family problems, it causes families to be deceitful, and it starts a cycle of lying to oneself, then to the family.

Many times the items hide in the house for weeks before brought out. Sadly, this is the one that can actually end a marriage. If your impulse buying has gone this far, please seek help, I promise within weeks you will have a whole new family!

If your impulse buying hasn’t gone this far but the mega purchases have taken over your house with clutter, maybe it’s time to fast buying for a month and see what you can sell on eBay or Craigslist.

Okay, if none of those above impulse purchases apply to you, but you buy on impulse that affects your budget, spend some time asking yourself these questions each time before you buy:

  • Why am I really buying this?
  • What will I do with this?
  • Will it fit in my house?
  • Will I have to hide it from my family?
  • Will this money have to come out of another category?
  • Who will be affected by this purchase?
  • Will I be ashamed of the purchase or will my whole family love it?
Only you can answer these questions. Please be honest with yourself, the more honest you are the freer you will be.

Wisdom on Reassessing Your Spending #3 - Personal Budget Planning

Who doesn’t love giving gifts? Seeing that perfect gift for your friend who has been a total angel to you… it’s a little more than you wanted to spend but she’s worth it, right?

Who can resist buying everything your kids ask for? Mommy can I have… can I have… can I have – pleeeeezzzzzzeeeee?

Want to know a secret? Kids would much rather have you spend 30 minutes with them then having another toy that gets shoved under the bed or left on the floor of the toy room.

They ask for things to replace the thing they are really missing, YOU. And if they don’t have you time they search for happiness in toys.

But let’s face it, do they ever have total joy - or even lasting joy from those gifts? Probably not.

Please I beg you, don’t be a part of this world of giving kids movies and hand held games to give you quiet time or to shut them up.

We chose to be stay at home moms because we want to invest in our children. Let’s not be like the world, and let’s invest in our kids with our time, not money!

Wisdom on Reassessing Your Spending #4 - Personal Budget Planning

Who can resist a sale? It’s almost as if all of heavens angels are singing, bright lights are shining down and it’s calling your name – will you answer?

It’s too good to pass up, I’m sure I’ll use it, my family has needed this for years. Okay, really? Have you survived without it this long? Can your family survive without it for one more year?

When there is a great sale, we need to ask ourselves why do we really want it? Will we really use it? Remember we thought we were going to use that bread maker every day, how about that juicer, and that pasta machine – we won’t even go there.

I found the best way to “get through a sale” is to not look! It turns out if I don’t know about it, it doesn’t happen and therefore I save money.

In order to seriously have your solid personal budget planning system in place you’re going to have to make some hard decisions. And one area is avoiding sales at all cost!

Wisdom on Reassessing Your Spending #5 - Personal Budget Planning

Shop Therapy anyone? Ugh the hardest of them all when you need a little pick-me-up. Outside of going to therapy to overcome this one, the best way to overcome this one is lock up all your cash, remove all your credit cards and go shopping.

Wait, what? Go shopping? Yes, go shop.

I went through a season of needing to do some major shop therapy, so what I did was I went out and shopped, filled my basket with everything I wanted and once I felt I had “everything” I needed, I went and put it back (make sure your kind enough to put it back on the shelf where it belongs – please).

Seriously, it wasn’t about bringing it home it was the thrill of finding what I wanted and once I felt I completed my goal, I was free from that shopping trip. Trust me, it has the same gratification as actually buying it but it costs no money and shame isn’t attached!

I hope that helps. If you are interested in other budgeting ideas please see the below or the right column for more articles I've written.


More Related Articles on Personal Budget Planning:

How to Create a Budget

Free Printable Budget Worksheets

Free Printable Budget Worksheet PDF

Impulse Purchases PDF

Monthly Home Budget Worksheet PDF

16 Fabulous Family Budget Tips

How to Make a Budget

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