Almost everybody I know, which includes me, has let a budget get out of control at one time or another. I really think it used to be able to control personal finances because it was not as easy to spend money. As I work on my own budget, and as I speak to people I know, here are some common problems that get people in trouble. Debit and Credit Cards. It is just so easy to buy things by swiping a piece of plastic that we lose track of how much money we spend. A decade or so ago we spent cash or wrote checks. It made us think about spending money more as we had to carry enough money or go through the act of writing and recording our checks.
You should be able to document your income, expenses, and (hopefully) savings every month. If your income minus expenses is a positive number, you can relax a little. You still may want to work on your budget so you can save more for an emergency or retirement. If that number comes out negative, you could be in big trouble. Spending more money than you make means you must rely on credit. In turn, this means you are setting yourself up for more trouble because those credit card payments will get higher every month.