5 Reasons Why Your Budget Is Not Working and How You Can Fix It.

Sis, let’s be real. Since you created that budget, you probably haven’t used it more than once or twice. If you are like me, you sat down when you were extra broke and created that “wonderful” budget that accounted for every single thing- including chewing gum. Once you got a little money, you forgot all about it.

I know it is tempting to spend. Most of us have the spending bug somewhere in our systems but we must learn to control it, especially now that Ms. Rona is out and about. 

Here are 5 budget mistakes and tips on how you can fix them.

You made it too generic

Budget mistakes

So, remember how you went online to download xyz’s budgeting template and never bothered to make it suit your own spending habits? Yeah, this is a common budget mistake. On a general level, we may have the same basic needs- food, housing, transport- but Akosua from Ghana’s expenses can never be the same as Sheryl’s from Houston. 

You have to modify your budget according to your location, lifestyle, and personal needs. Should you be budgeting for a gym membership when you work out at home right now? 

You do not have your day planned

Budget mistakes, Tamar Braxton

“What is the connection between planning my day and budgeting my expenses?” You may be wondering. 

Planning your day helps you recall those activities that will eventually require you to spend. Create a daily plan around work, chores, cooking, and transport and see if that impacts your budgeting.

Your budget is set in stone

Ah, this one. I’ve been guilty of this too many times to count. I would piously create the most frugal budget known to man and then wonder why I was so miserable after. See babe, budgeting like every other planning endeavour, ought to make your life simpler. Create a realistic budget that factors in enjoyment. That aspect of your life is hella essential too!

The danger of creating a frugal budget is that at 2 AM one day, you may snap and treat yourself to natural hair products you don’t even need. At the beginning of each month,  add a treat to your budget- a book you want to read, fancy skincare stuff, bralettes, etc. Pick one thing and treat yo self!

Budgeting like every other planning endeavour, ought to make your life simpler. Create a realistic budget that factors in enjoyment. That aspect of your life is hella essential too. Click To Tweet

You have not adjusted your budget in forever

You still have the same budget since last year and you wonder why it is not working for you. If you work from home or you are bored in the house, bored in the house, bored, I am guessing that certain expenses are on pause while others (like grocery expenses) are being incurred. 

If this is true for you, then you obviously should not budget the same amount that you did for transportation last year. Evaluate your budget at the beginning of each month to see if it is realistic to your current lifestyle. 

You have barely used it since you created it

This is another common budget mistake you could be making. What is the use of having a budget if you won’t use it?

If you barely use the budget after creating it, consider setting a good ol’ reminder for checking your budget. And girl, when that alarm goes off, make sure you check, okay?


Join our community of young, ambitious African women to step up your budgeting AND money game! 

About Ifeoma Nnewuihe

Ifeoma is a writer living and working in Lagos, Nigeria. She has a Masters Degree in Literature from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. She is currently a Marketing Associate at She Leads Africa. Mango season is Ifeoma's favourite time of the year. For more of her writing visit ifeomation.substack.com

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