Friday 17 November 2017

Forgot to include this stuff in your budget?

Creating a family budget is a great way to ensure that you don’t overspend and that you’re able to put something aside for a rainy day, but only if you do it right! So many people base their budget only on their monthly bills, which means that they aren’t exactly as balanced or effective as they could be.

If you have a budget, but it isn’t exactly helping you save money like you thought it would, could it be that you’re forgetting to include these things in your calculations?

You’ve probably accounted for your grocery bill in your budget, but what about those early morning coffees from the local Starbucks or those evenings spent at restaurants with good food and even better friends? If you aren’t taking into account the cost of the extra’ food, you’re consuming every month; then your budget isn’t exactly going to be accurate. So, work out roughly how much you usually spend on coffees, lunches and dinners out and add that to your spreadsheet.

If you aren’t factoring in things that aren’t planned, like the cost of hiring a plumber or something even more major like paying a funeral, which although it’s possible to hold funerals on a budget, could still cost you thousands, then you’re always going to have those weeks and months when you’re left short, or even worse, are forced to get into debt just to get by. What you should be doing is including a set sum in your budget that goes directly into building up an emergency fund.

Clothing is one of those things that many of us don’t buy every week, but we do need to purchase a few items fairly regularly, which means it can get overlooked in the budget. So, it’s best to build a small amount into the budget each month for clothing. If you don’t use it, let it roll over, and when you do need a new pair of shoes or a special dress, you’ll be able to do so without messing up your budget.

Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings - throughout the year there are lots of occasions where one might reasonably be expected to buy a gift for a friend or family member, so it’s important that you take these into account when you’re creating your budget.

Annual Expenses
If you have things that you only pay for once a year, like pet or car insurance or subscriptions to your favourite magazine even, then you need to think about that when you’re drawing up your budget, lest you be seriously short one month. The easiest way to deal with these kinds of expenses is to set up a column in your budget for them; then you can either save a small amount towards them each month or adjust the due month’s budget to accommodate them.

If you remember to include this stuff in your budget, you won’t have any more worrisome weeks where you overspend or have too little left in the bank to get by!

* Guest post *

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