Do you tremble in fear when you hear the word “budget”? Does thinking about your money and finances make you want to crawl under the covers and ignore it all? When your spouse starts talking about cash do you want to stick your fingers in your ears and go “I’m not listening!”. 

Finances don’t have to be scary!

And once you start figuring it out and taking control the anxiety starts to lessen. But what exactly is a budget? A budget is just an outline of expenditures over time. That’s it. It’s not that scary! Let’s break that down a bit. An outline of expenditure is what you’re making versus what you’re spending and saving. Time can be by paycheck, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually. 

But why should you create a budget? To give yourself independence and freedom and achieve your goals. To make sure you don’t spend more than you make. To prepare for emergencies and fund your retirement. To really confront your spending. 

Why do budgets always seem to fail?

All too often when we decide to start a budget we go all-in and think we need to cut all spending. We can’t have any fun! We can’t have any debt! We have to do it all and we have to do it all RIGHT NOW! But the number one reason budgets fail? They are too restrictive. Being excited and wanting to get on track with your spending is great! But you don’t have to do it all at once. 

Budgets are not one size fits all. Maybe you watched a youtube video or read a book and want to be like Dave Ramsey or The Budget Mom or whoever. That’s great! But you aren’t them. You don’t have the same hopes, dreams, or goals as them. Learn as much as you can from all the people and then take what works for you and leave what doesn’t. Your budget didn’t fail because you suck. It failed because you aren’t Dave Ramsey or Suzie Orman. You are you and your budget should reflect that.

what is a budget

Maybe your income and/or expenses are variable every month. If you’re a freelancer, own your own business, or work on commissions you may never know exactly what your income will be from month to month. And you have those random expenses that pop up. You feel like you never know what is coming in or going out and you give up trying to budget. 

For some of us, we have conditions, such as ADHD, that may make budgeting more difficult. We may struggle with complicated budgeting systems. Or impulse spending (hello credit card debt!). And setting goals and thinking about the future can be difficult to focus on.

Budgets fail for many reasons. But we won’t let that stop us!

Do you budget? What has been your biggest pain point? Why have your attempts at budgeting failed?

Want to learn how to budget with visuals? Be sure to subscribe over on YouTube to not miss out! 

Categories: Planning


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.