What are the 2 Biggest Difficulties of Budgeting?

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While there are several aspects of budgeting that can make it difficult, there are two difficulties in particular that have proven time and again to be some of the largest hurdles when starting a budget.

The 2 biggest difficulties of budgeting are 1- being scared of facing your debts and small savings and 2- not using the right budgeting method for your specific personality.

These two hurdles tap into a person’s fears and ability to succeed.


The fear of facing your debt and coming to terms that your savings account isn’t up to par can stop a lot of people in their tracks. It makes them believe that, in addition to doing something unknown and potentially scary like starting a budget, they also have an unattainable goal of paying off debt.

Plus, many people put a lot of stock into the first budgeting method they find. They believe it will solve all of their problems, when in reality, they may need to try out a few budgeting methods to find the one that works best for them.

Getting through the difficulties of budgeting is not only attainable, it’s easier than you think!

Budgeting Difficulty #1: Fear of facing your debts and small savings

Trying to pay off your debt without a budget is like trying to get down a river in your kayak without ores.

Nominal Nerd

I know firsthand how crippling it can feel to see how much debt you’re in or how “behind” you are in building your savings.

It can feel like a boulder is sitting on top of you and there’s no way to push it off.

I say this not to scare you more, but to give you hope: even after coming face-to-face with over $100,000 in debt, we ended up paying it off ahead of schedule!

That first encounter with your debt and savings account will be hard. There’s no way around that.

But, you should know that your debt is there, whether you look it in the face or not. By delaying the payoff, you’re only pushing your financial freedom further out in your hard-working life.

Video courtesy of Christina Mychas

Taking this first hard step is your power move to not only tackle your debt, but to set yourself up for financial freedom so much earlier in your life!

How do you do that?

You budget.

Trying to pay off your debt without a budget is like trying to get down a river in your kayak without ores. Sure, you’ll eventually get down the river (maybe), but not as efficiently or quickly as you would with ores.

Budgeting gives a purpose to every dollar you bring in. And when you start planning where every dollar goes, you start to apply less money in other areas so you can apply more to your debt.

For example: when we got serious about our budget and were paying down $100,000 in debt, we realized we were eating out a ton. We decided that, instead of spending $200 a month eating out, we could apply that $200 toward our debt.

That equated to an extra $2400 a year in debt payoff!

All of this to say: it will be hard to get through your fear of facing your debt. But with a plan and hard work, you’ll tackle your debt in no time and build up your savings!

Related reading:

Budgeting Difficulty #2: Not using the right budgeting method for your personality

Having a budget won’t get you far if you have difficulty using the method you’ve chosen.

If you’re someone who works best with technology, using the paper and pencil method of budgeting will result in failure.

Same thing if you’re not into technology: using a budgeting app that you’ll never open will not get you far.

So many have tried to budget and quit quickly. But in many cases, it’s simply because they’re not using the right budgeting method. If something like budgeting is already overwhelming for you and you toss in a budgeting method that doesn’t work for you, it will feel like an insurmountable chore.

But if you’ve got the right budgeting method, you’ll be more inclined to stick with your budget!

Least technicalMiddle of the roadMost technical
Paper and pencilBudget spreadsheetBudgeting apps
Budget bindersOnline budget tools
Types of budget methods based on technicality

How do you find the right budgeting method? Trial and error is your best friend.

Take us for example: I thought a budgeting app was the way to go for me. I always have my phone on me, so it would make sense that simply opening an app and playing with the numbers would be easiest for me.

As it turns out, about 90% of the apps on my phone are not used. And my budgeting app was no exception.

It didn’t work for me!

So, I scoured the internet to find other budgeting methods that could work for me. As it turned out, a spreadsheet was my best friend!

This was the best of both worlds for me: I could store it online and access it on my phone, but could also access it on my laptop or computer. That turned out to have the highest chance for me to open it.

You will have to give a few different budgeting methods a chance, and for longer than just a few days. Try out a few methods for several weeks and make yourself stick to that timeframe. Then, if you still find it challenging to open your budget, you’ll know you have to try something else.

Related reading:

How to conquer budgeting difficulties

Yes, budgeting can be tough for most people. And even when you get everything right by facing your fear of debt/savings and are using the right budgeting method, it can still be difficult to keep up with it.

You should know that this is the case for the majority of people.

How do you conquer those budgeting difficulties and stick with it?

Give yourself a “why”!

  • Why are you working so hard to get out of debt?
  • Why does it matter if you build up savings?
  • Why are you creating a budget each month to track your expenses and take control of your money?

I can’t answer those for you, but if you have your “why” on the forefront of your mind, those difficulties don’t feel so difficult anymore.


Because you’re a person on a MISSION! You have goals to attain, and these are your financial goals to get you there.

So, if you’re a visual person, print out something that represents your “why” (like a picture of where you want to retire, trips you want to take as a family, etc.). If you’re an auditory person, read books on the life that you want and how to get yourself there.

You have the power in you to get over these budgeting difficulties. Remember: it’s difficult for most people. What gets those people through is keeping in mind why they’re doing this, and what it will do for their life.