There are plenty of mistakes people make when trying to design an appropriate budget that suits their financial goals and lifestyle aspirations.

If you’ve blown your budget before, you might end up thinking that budgeting just isn’t for you. There are common budgeting mistakes that could impact your financial progress, sure. But many have simpler fixes than you think.

Here are some common budgeting mistakes and some suggestions on how to fix them and also to avoid making them in the future.

You’re Not Motivated

If you’re considering budgeting mistakes to avoid, know that you’re less likely to stick to a budget if you don’t have clearly defined financial goals. You are more likely to commit to your budget and be disciplined in your spending if you’re working toward a specific milestone.

To become motivated, you to need to pursue goals that inspire you to take action. For example; do you want to pay off those student loans once and for all? Save for a down payment for your dream home? Travel overseas? To avoid this common budgeting mistake, write down the goals that make you tick and how much you’ll need to save to accomplish them. When you’re tempted to stray from your budget, review your goals for the motivation to stay on course.

Your Budget Is Unrealistic 

One of the biggest budgeting mistakes to avoid is failing to be realistic about your spending. Under-budgeting in some or all of your spending categories may leave you with less money than you need to allocate toward your needs. If you constantly under-budget and then spend more than you intend, you could get discouraged with budgeting altogether.

To fix this problem it is recommended that you make an effort to track where your spending is going and then make an effort to adjust accordingly. If this budgeting pitfall is holding you back, consider using a budgeting and spending app to help you track your spending across bank accounts and credit cards. You can connect your financial accounts to a budgeting app and get regular reports of your spending in different categories. You can then begin to adjust your budget and cut back in categories as it realistically makes sense for your lifestyle.

Hand holding paper bills.

You Fail To Account For Every Expense

Leaving things out of your budget is another budgeting mistake to avoid. Let’s say you have a family reunion coming up. In the past, maybe you relied on “winging it” when it came to paying for one-off costs like transportation and accommodations. But without incorporating these costs into your spending plan, you risk having to dip into other budget categories (goodbye, streaming services) or falling short on other goals.

Since your spending habits will likely change based on different life circumstances, you will most likely need to regularly review and adjust your plan to avoid this budgeting pitfall.

To fix this problem you need to review and revise your budget. Instead of omitting special events or irregular occurrences in your budget, you should make sure you capture every possible expense related to any spending “anomalies” when you have a budget review.

To avoid this budgeting related problem, you should take time to figure out any future expenses that don’t fall under your regular spending patterns, and decide how much you need to save for these expenses ahead of time. It can take time and practice to anticipate every expense imaginable, but it will be worth it to keep your budget as accurate as possible. You can also establish an emergency fund to assist with covering any unexpected expenses.