Three Things You Can Do to Avoid Busting Your Budget
How many times has this happened to you: It’s pay day! You sit down to pay yourself, pay your bills and save some money for emergencies, following your carefully calculated budget. Everything looks like it’s adding up, but then … you’re out of money. Again. What happened?
If your paycheck and your calculations say you should have plenty of money to meet your expenses and you’re still coming up short each month, there are three important things you might be neglecting to do with your budget.
Give every dollar a job
You’ve got to give every dollar a job! Assign a task to every dollar you earn. If you fill out every item in your budget and come out $100 ahead — and you have nothing for that $100 to do — you haven't finished your budget. Budget to save money, but be sure to set funds aside for entertainment, shopping and other miscellaneous items. That way, your needs and goals are taken care of, and extra spending money is stress-free!
Watch out for sneaky expenses
Sneaky expenses can suck the air out of your budget. Things like unused online subscriptions and streaming services, expensive gifts for friends and family, recurring charitable donations and high bank fees can sneak up from behind and torpedo your budget. Just remember that budgeting doesn’t stop with your big monthly expenses, so watch out for the costs that sneak up on you.
Save for emergencies
Having an emergency fund in place is an important part of your budget. You’ll most likely have to deal with an emergency resulting from an unexpected situation or a drop in income at some point in your lifetime. Emergency funds create a financial buffer that can keep you afloat in a time of need without having to rely on credit cards or high-interest loans.