The Exceptionally Ordinary Life

5 Reasons why your budget is not working

Sharing is caring!

5 Reasons Why Your Budget Is Not Working

It’s scary to think about money as a flowing resource. But it truly is. See, money rarely stays where you put it. The best example of this is that, when you get paid, the money is deposited into your account. Unfortunately, a lot of it has to then leave the account to pay for bills, buy groceries, put gas in the car, etc.

In order for that cash flow to work properly, you need a functional budget. It can be incredibly frustrating when, even after creating a budget, it doesn’t seem to be working properly.

There are many and varied reasons for this, but they can be grouped into any of the following categories:

5 Reasons Why Your Budget Is Not Working

No emergency fund

Did you know that, according to a 2017 GO Banking Rates survey, 57% of Americans don’t have enough in their savings account to cash flow a $1000 emergency? It’s really scary to think about. But it explains why the average American has over $38,000 in debt, according to the Northwestern Mutual’s 2018 Planning & Progress Study. I believe this is mostly due to not having a budget that works.

On the flip side, for your budget to work properly, you need an emergency fund. The reason for this is simple: If you run into a real emergency, and have no way of covering the expense, then your budget will suffer. Simple as that. Since a budget is nothing more than you assigning each and every dollar to a specific task, then an emergency will find you scrambling for solutions.

If you have an emergency fund however, your well planned budget will not suffer when a real and important emergency occurs.

Lack of commitment

No matter how much time you spend creating an awesome budget, if you are not fully committed to it, it will fail. A budget is your guide to managing your money. But if you constantly cheat the guide, cut corners, or dismiss it’s importance, then your budget will definitely not work for you.

On the other hand, if you and your partner are not on the same page in regards to money, your budget will not work. It’s kind of like sabotage, because while one of you is sticking to the budget, the other one simply does as he or she pleases, making your budget fail miserably.


The first thing a budget does for you is give you a reality check. Nothing like looking at how much money comes in and how much goes out to give you a healthy dose of “Holy Crap!

With that in mind, when creating your budget you need to get your head out of the sand, and face the music. That simply means that you can’t just ignore the facts. It means that you have to see, and accept your financial situation. You can’t possibly live like a queen on a servant’s income. Not without going into consumer debt.


An incomplete budget is another big bug. If you are missing some of your expenses or bills from your budget, it will be thrown out of wack.

I wrote about how to create a budget that works here. If you are concerned or overwhelmed by the prospect of creating a functional budget, go check out this post. I am positive you will find it helpful.


If you have any prayer for your budget to work, then you have to be willing to revisit it frequently. That could be twice a month, monthly, etc. In the beginning especially, it is of great importance that you check, and re-check your budget, and make adjustments.

To be perfectly honest, the best way to keep a functioning budget is to be on top of it. The more you revise it, the better chances you have of not running into any issues. By revising it often, you basically fine tune it, craft it, to make your finances much more manageable.

5 Reasons Why Your Budget Is Not Working

As I said before, there could be many reasons why your budget it not working for you. These are only the main, biggest categories in which the rest of them fall.

  • No emergency fund
  • Lack of commitment
  • Unrealistic
  • Incomplete
  • Outdated

In order to fix the problem, my biggest recommendation is that you take a good look at the whole picture. Understanding where the problems are is the first step to finding a solution. Once you have done that, start by working on each issue, one at a time. That should make it less overwhelming, and easier to manage.

Do you feel like your budget is not working properly? Is one of the reasons listed here the cause of it? Please, share with us in the comments. You never know when and how your experiences could help someone else!

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *